American Culture: Lexi Seitz

This photo is of a Fourth of July firework show around Lady Liberty. This is a big symbol of the American cultures dedication to celebrating America. We have a set out date just to celebrate America and our freedom.

A symbol is a sign, object, or gesture that represents something to a society that may not mean the same thing to another society. Examples from American culture: $, @, #, waving, thumbs up.... etc.

This is a promotion video for our American army. This shows that in our culture we do value freedom but we know it does not come free. We have selfless Americans that are so dedicated to our country they risk their lives for our freedom. It's a norm to celebrate the coming home of our military hero's and we pray/praise those that fight for our freedom.

A value is something that a culture takes pride in or values a lot.

A norm is shared rules that everyone is expected to follow.

Culture VS Society

The American culture is filled with a wide variety of people. We can go back a trace nearly every race or racial mix in the world and place that in America somewhere. In our culture we have a wide variety of societies too. Everywhere in America is a little different but we all connect back together to create the American culture. We know that in the American culture we do not speak just one language, although the main language in english many societies in America speak a variety of different languages that can be traced all over the world.

Language is just the language that a culture or society speaks.

The Functionalist Perspective can be traced back to Emile Durkheim (seen in above photo). The Functionalist Perspective is a perspective that focuses on how society works as a whole. This also enables us to look at the most undesirable mores in society and see how they affect us and how they can be changed

Emile Durkheim: Durkheim was a sociologist that focused on how a society can work together even when divided. He also focused on how society can be considered a social science.

The Interactionist Perspective focuses on the concrete details of society that affect individuals. These small details can be little folkways such has using silver wear VS. using your fingers as eating utensils. Also small things like the ranking of individuals in society.

A more is a norm that has a large significant value.

A folkway is a norm that does not have large value or significants.

Auguste Comte: Comte was the founder of sociology. If it were not for Comte's curiosity in why we do what we do, we would not understand fully the power of society.

Karl Marx: Marx is a sociologist that believed that society is divided into two groups: those who own products, and those who own only their labor. He believed that we need structure in society in order to keep going. Today structure in life a big way to keep everything running smoothly.

Herbert Spencer: Spencer is a sociologist that was heavily influenced by Charles Darwin (Evolutionist). Spencer, because of Darwin's influence, created the idea of Social Darwinism. This is the belief that society is survival of the fittest. Those who are bigger and better will always trump out the others. That does fit into our culture today because we have the people that own large companies and they controle basically all of the works that have jobs through their community.

In todays popular culture we have an obsession with reality TV. The Dugger family is an example of a regular family that we have started to praise because they are a little different than the average 4-5 person family, with 19 kids the Duggers are put on TV. It seems that anything we do not find normal, like having 19 kids, we put on TV to watch how they live their everyday lives. We also have shows like Jersey Shore, Honey BooBoo, Sister Wives, and Little People that are shows simply to watch other peoples lives. All these shows are popular because the people in them are a little different than the majority of the American culture.

Material Culture VS Nonmaterial Culture

In the first image you can see the many symbols for religions of the world. That is an example of nonmaterial culture. Nonmaterial culture is all about our beliefs, values, norms, and other opinions. In American culture we have a lot of freedom when it comes to religions. Anyone can practice any religion they want to.

The second image is a bunch of computers circled around the earth. This shows the material part of culture. Material culture is all of the things we own and use that show our culture such as: houses, cars, computers, cellphones, clothing, etc... In America we are big on technology. We also think we have to have to newest phones or computers in order to be happy or to fit in.

A culture trait is a trait of social activity in a culture. A culture trait of America is how we focus so fully on getting an education. Often times you will here of people coming to America for better opportunities with their education. With an education you will have more opportunities in life. Getting an education is a big culture trait in America.

A culture pattern in a trait that is often repeated in a culture. Getting an education is also a culture pattern in the U.S.A. When we are born we are immediately taught that an education is the best thing in life. Once we go through and finish school we teach our children the same thing. This has become a pattern in our culture.