American Culture: RachelWood

Money is a number one American value. Most of who is homeless in the US are because of their lack of money. Us Americans believe that we need money to survive and strive in America. Most who have jobs are because they are fighting to gain money for themselves or for their family. Families are also a huge value in the US because most Americans will fight for their family and make sure they have what they need. Friends are another huge value because where would we be without our friends? Everyone needs somebody to be there for them. Our freedom and independence also is a big value that not everyone takes into consideration, but we value our independence more than we think. Americans believe that they need to be free and believe that nobody will ever control them. Think about it, it's not a person, but does money control us? Does family control us? Do friends control us, or does freedom control us?

Pop culture, I think, is what we definitely live and strive on. Almost everybody has a sort of television in their living room, bedroom, office, even their bathroom and kitchen. So many Americans rely on their television to watch the news or their favorite show. Most anybody wouldn't know what to do without their television. Music is a huge pop culture nowadays. You see people walk around all the time with headphones on their head or earbuds in their ear. Not only teenagers, but all sorts of adults listen to music too. Heck, so do babies. Music defines one another and how we react to it. Publications could be considered "old fashioned" but what do most students do? Study. And study what? Study with books. For homework, we read books. It doesn't matter who says they don't read; everybody reads somewhere or sometime. It's a part of us and our culture.

We all wish we could become successful, correct? In America, the most successful career jobs are to be nurses and/or doctors, software developers, and dentists. Who knew?! However, half of America is struggling just to get an every day life supporting job. You're lucky to and have made the choice of going to school and becoming one of these because America needs workers to support these careers. Especially software development. Nowadays, we rely heavily on using software, no matter what kind it is and every day new technology is coming out. That's what our culture relies on; technology.

Two major cultural patterns would be education and family. Every culture you see has either some type of ancestors or family including two parents and children with siblings. Also, in almost every culture you see will have some sort of education. Whether the American culture education is to go to school or to be home schooled. Either way, all sorts of people and cultures are being educated.

This video shows a few difference between American and British culture. (It does say the word vagina in the beginning so please just be mature). I like this video because it shows how the British culture is more conservative, I should say, rather than America. It's pretty interesting.

Celebrating peoples' birthdays is a great American culture trait. Celebrating birthdays of one another is just something we do. Normally we do this, well for one, to remind how old one person may be getting, but to also have fun. Americans love to celebrate and have a good time. Not only for birthdays, but for holidays as well.

I chose a picture of a mall store for material culture because I believe that a big physical material in our culture is any type of store and clothing. Malls can relate to any materialistic thing because in America, you can walk into basically any mall and buy just about anything the average American would have. You don't see people walk around naked, so they're obviously wearing clothing. That's materialistic.

A non material culture that you see a lot of in America is cyber bullying. The reason I picked this idea is because you see lot of bullying in America. Physically and mentally. With the increase of technology, there is much more bullying because it is easier to be a bully over the computer or phone screen rather than in person. This hurts mentally. This is a culture America has because no matter who you are, you're always judging somebody; good or bad. It really shows over technology.

Symbols can be anything, really. I chose emojis because nowadays people barely even send texts without adding emojis in them. Even a simple smily face with a semi colon and a single parenthesis is a symbol; a symbol for either sadness or happiness. When you send a simple smiley face, it might mean a lot of things. Normally what it means is that the person likes what they're talking People in America use emojis to show and let people know how they feel.

In America, the main language that we speak is English. However, there are also many people who speak Spanish as well. This is why most things that are written that you may see in wall-mart, for example, are rewritten to let the ones who speak Spanish read it too.

A very important American norm is to drive on the right side of the road, unless you are making a pass, of course. It is not normal to just casually drive on the left side of the road.

A folkway that many people in America expect is for someone to hold the doors for them. If a person or two is walking into a building and the guy/girl walking out does not hold the door open, that person will think it's rude. If someone were the hold the door open for a person or two and they don't receive a "thank you", we get offended because that someone did a 'good deed'.

Know your mores. Mores in the American culture are following laws and especially federal laws. If you break one, or even commit murder, you will probably be going to jail and/or prison.

Society and culture actually two specific different things, but people like to think of them as the same. They are not. Sociologists like to define society as the people who interact in ways to share common culture. Society could refer to people who share a common culture in a certain location. Culture is full of beliefs, behaviors, objects, and other characteristics common to the members of a certain group or society. Using culture, people and groups can define themselves, and contribute to society. Culture includes: language, customs, values, norms, mores, rules, techniques etc. Culture and society are intricately related. A culture consists of the "objects" of a society, whereas a society consists of the people who share a common culture.


Functionalist Perspective

Functionalist perspective is where each aspect of society is interdependent and contributes to society's functioning as a whole. Basically for examples, how this works is the government/state proves education for the youth, which in return pays taxes on which the state depends to keep itself running. The family is dependent upon the school to help children grow up to have good jobs so that they can raise and support their own families. Meanwhile, the children become law-abiding citizens who pay taxes, who support the state. To achieve functionalist perspective, members in a society basically have to work together to make great things happen.

Karl Marx is an 18th century sociologist who in which was one of the original theorists to develop a conflict perspective on how society functions. He viewed a nation state as a collective power of which political parties rule on behalf of society by making rules and regulations in favor of the ruling class.

Conflict perspective focuses on the negative, conflicted, and ever-changing nature of society. Conflict theorists challenge the status quo, encourage social change, and believe rich and powerful people force social order on the poor and the weak.

Herbert Spencer was a sociologist as well. He was known for comparing an organism to society. He concluded that society grows just like an organism does. Little embryos which grow to be infants, grow into children and then eventually grow to be adults. Society works about the same. They grow.

Max Weber was a German sociologist. Max Weber had a couple different themes of study in sociology.

1. Class and inequality. Max thought that social inequality in 'modern' society was more complicated than just two separated classes of society (like Karl Marx's Idea). He believes that differences in the amount of power are important aspects of inequality in 'modern' societies. Max thought that society was dominated by those with political power.

2. Religion and class. Weber thought that there was more than just 'class' institution that dominated the process of society. He believed that cultural factors, such as religion, were very important.

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