Considering Cultural Difference (A Longman Topics Reader)

Pauline Uchmanowicz  
Total pages
November 2003

Product detail

Title no longer available


Part of the “Longman Topics” reader series, Considering Cultural Difference features multiethnic writing from contemporary U.S. authors centered around issues of ritual, representation, and rights.

This brief collection of readings examines cultural identity and difference with respect to race, class, gender, and nationality. Thought-provoking selections ask students to think about timely and relevant issues: integration in schools; affirmative action in the workplace, women in sports; living in a multilingual society. Three main sites of cultural difference are addressed: Ritual, Representation, and Rights, each divided into two chapters of five or six essays apiece. Brief apparatus helps students write more thoughtfully in response to the selections.

“Longman Topics” are brief, attractive readers on a single complex, but compelling, topic. Featuring about 30 full-length selections, these volumes are generally half the size and half the cost of standard composition readers.


  • Half the size and cost of typical readers, “Longman Topics” can be used alone or paired with other texts.
  • Thirty essays reflect a range of literary styles and genres including selections from scholarly, literary, and general-interest magazines, fiction, poetry, journals, memoirs, author interviews, and news reports.
  • Provocative readings include pieces like, Julia Alvarez's “I Want to Be Miss America,” Ali Hossaini's “A Hyphenated Perspective,” and Jack Newfield's, “The Shame of Boxing.”
  • Unit introductions highlight the key issues of each chapter and discuss the relationships between the chapters; background information on the authors is provided at the beginning of each selection.
  • Encouraging analysis and argument, each reading is followed by four to five "Engaging the Text" discussion questions.
  • At the end of each unit, “Responding to Writing” assignments call for a synthesis between two or more readings and offer suggestions for further research.

Table of Contents

Each section includes an Introduction.



1. Schooling.

Anna Quindlen, “How Reading Changed My Life.”

Nathan McCall, “Alford J. Mapp.”

Heinz Insu Fenkl, “Seoul American Elementary School.”

Richard Rodriguez, “Aria.”

David Brooks, “The Next Ruling Class: Meet the Organization Kid.”

2. Sports.

Hunki Yun, “Trail Blazer.”

Darcy Frey, “The Last Shot.”

Timothy Harper, “The Best Pickup-Basketball Player in America.”

Colette Dowling, “Throwing Like a Guy: The Mystique of Innate Ability.”

Ruth Conniff, “Title IX: Political Football.”

Jack Newfield, “The Shame of Boxing.”

Ritual: Responding in Writing.


3. Media.

Ward Churchill, “Smoke Signals in Context.”

Julia Alvarez, “I Want to Be Miss América.”

Michael Massing, “Press Watch..”

John Nichols, “Huey Freeman: American Hero.”

Tim Wise, “Blinded by the White: Crime, Race and Denial at Columbine High.”

4. Visibility.

Michael Bronski, “Queering the Vast Wasteland.”

Peggy McIntosh, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.”

Robert S. Boynton, “The New Intellectuals.”

Ali Hossaini, “A 'Hyphenated Perspective.'”

Rudolph Chelminski, “Turning Point.”

Jesse Levine, “Turnabout Map of the Americas.”

Representation: Responding in Writing.


5. Language.

Judith Ortiz Cofer, “The Patterson Public Library.”

Committee on CCCC Language Statement, “Students' Right to Their Own Language.”

Amy Tan, “Mother Tongue.”

Luc Sante, “Living in Tongues.”

Robert King, “Should English Be the Law?”

6. Workplace.

Ellis Cose, “Affirmative Action and the Dilemma of the 'Qualified'.”

Bob Muldoon, “White-Collar Man in a Blue-Collar World.”

Martìn Espada, “The Foreman's Wallet.”

Barbara Ehrenreich, “Serving in Florida.”

Marc Peyser (with Keith Naughton, Peg Tyre, Tamara Lipper, T. Trent Gegax, and Lisa Bergtaum), “The Insiders.”

Rights: Responding in Writing.