American Culture: Kacie Cox

September 2014

American Culture

America could easily be described as a "mixing pot" of cultures. The American culture is influenced by many different cultures combined, because of the immigration to America.

3/4 of American's would claim their religion is Christian. The second largest religion in the United States is Judaism, and about 20% of American's claim no religion.

American fashion varies from season to season, state to state, even day to day. There is always something newer, that we all strive to wear. A lot of what we want to wear is influenced by celebrities.  From an foreign country clothing companies they might consider "American" would be brands such as Victoria's Secret or Calvin Klein.

When I think of American food, I think of food you can find at a fast food restaurant, and food you can find at the fair. Anything from hamburgers, to deep fat fried double bacon wrapped butter on a stick.

You can find almost any type of art in America. If you're looking for broadway, a great place to start is New York City. Looking for a more jazzy time, head down south. The United States has it all.

American holidays include Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veteran's Day, and 4th of July.

Careers in America have as many options as you can imagine. Teaching, Machinist, Performer, Writer, Producer, Graphic Design, Biologist, ect. The options are never ending.

Karl Marx (German) believed that society is divided, and had the conflict perspective. The division of society was those who own materials, and those who only owned their labor. He thought that the worker needed to work to over power those in power, promoting the competition and change. This created a theory for the structure of society. The conflict perspective is focused on the those forces in society that promote competition and change. The quote above shows his conflict perspective by showing his belief that money is the main factor in change. An real life example we deal with quite often in school is our class ranks. We have a competitive impulse to be the top of the class, always competing and changing.

Emile Durkheim (French) connected science and sociology. Durkheim studied society, and used the science skill of observing to do so. Durkheim turned his observations into stats, and was the first to test his theory through statistic analysis. He believed that individual beliefs and values were the glue that held society together. He had the functionalist perspective. The functionalist perspective is viewing society as a set of interrelated parts that work together to produce a stable social system. An example of this would be a cooperate system. Going from the founder and CEO to the part time worker. They all depend on each other in some way to keep the business going.

Herbert Spencer (English) was known for "Social Darwinism", better known as, survival of the fittest society. Social Darwinism is a theory that basically says those with a more stable society would last longer. The name comes from Charles Darwin, and his theory of evaluation, and natural selection/. He also falls into the functionalist perspective. The functionalist perspective is viewing society as a set of interrelated parts that work together to produce a stable social system. Another example of this would be the school system. The state provides for the school, and the parents pay taxes to the government that go toward the school. The parents are dependent on the school, and the government is dependent on the tax money.

Culture vs society

Culture is all the beliefs, backgrounds, behaviors, and other characteristics found in a society. Society would be how a group of people that have cultural similarities, and differences live and interact.

Symbol - Language - Norms - Mores - Folkways - Values

This picture is a symbol of American society. It has the American flag, with 50 stars representing the 50 states, and 13 stripes representing the original 13 colonies. The Bald Eagle represents a strong independence that American's love, and some people strive to obtain.

Most people would claim English to be the official language of the United States, but there is no official language. To represent the many languages of the United States, a song from Frozen, sung in multiple languages. This is also connected to pop culture, because Frozen is a very popular movie. Most people know at least one song from the movie.

This t-shirt would be deemed acceptable in Laurens-Marathon's dress code. Dress code is an example of a norm. Norms are shared rules of conduct that tell people how to act in specific situations.

When you commit a crime, and are caught, you usually have an enforced punishment. This is an example of a more. Mores are norms that have great moral significance. Example: Murder, Robbing a Bank, ect.

Folkways: Norms that do not have a great moral significance.

Using silverware while eating is a folkway, or better known as a common custom. Being on time, and doing your homework are other examples.

Something I value, is my family. Values are shared beliefs about what is good or bad. The type of values a group of people have can determine the character of the people. I believe that America is a very materialistic culture, and that we need to value the people close to use more often.

A culture trait of the United States would be that we shower often. It's part of most of our daily lives. In other countries they shower once or twice a week, or maybe don't even have the opportunity to shower or bathe.

Material culture is the physical objects, and spaces that help define the culture. This picture of the school represents the material culture because going to Laurens-Marathon shapes you differently as a person, as to if you went to West-Bend Mallard. The reasoning for that simply being it's two different cultures. Expectations are different, teaching methods are different, the students are different, and so is the outcome of the school.

This picture represents a nonmaterial culture. It shows various students beliefs. This picture was taken in 2008, during the time period of Rose Davis being fired from the position of principal. The students believed that their principal shouldn't have been fired.  From the support of other students they believed this would be the way to show their feelings.

Culture Pattern: A group of culture traits in a community.

Different ways of pronouncing words, an accent, would be an example of a culture pattern. Depending on where you live in the United States, you could say the word aunt as ANT, or ONT. It depends on what region you live in, and what you are being surrounded around.

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