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With a few visionary exceptions, it is not until the 1960s, and then largely in the United States, that one finds ethnic and cultural diversity widely hailed as a good in itself that society should try to actively promote rather than a social evil that should be feared as a dangerous, divisive condition that expedient nation builders must somehow domesticate and bridle. Part I of this Article briefly reviews the historical evidence. Even today, this affirmative embrace by large segments of society of the most politically controversial forms of diversityethnic, religious, cultural, and even economic-remains largely a North American phenomenon. As a way to understand the variety of normative stances that one might take toward diversity, Part II of this Article considers how people who subscribe to a number of different social-political theories would value it.

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