American Culture 14 replies

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KeNDaLL2000

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17th May 2006

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#1 11 years ago

My major (architectural engineer) requires me take one English and or Writing Class, Unfortunately for me i happen to get stuck with a very demanding Professor and I'm way to far into the semester to drop the class. He requires us to write a short paper each week along with regular assigned HW, Papers, and Reading

Today we were given a assignment where we have to write a short 2 page paper about anything dealing with the USA. I wanted to pick to pick a topic that would be easy but also be somewhat unique which would be hard so i decided to write about American culture. Then i clearly dawned on me that i don't know that much about my own culture.

Many place that i have read kept reiterating the same thing saying that America is just a melting pot of different cultures which it is true to a point. I just want to know what do people think US culture is? :uhm:




Phoenix_22 Advanced Member

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#2 11 years ago

There's actually a lot about the U.S. that is different from other countries, depending on what part of American culture you write about.

-Consumerism (our tendency to buy things, but that's a pretty big one) -Car Culture (Muscle cars, drag racing, Nascar, etc.) -Political views (as a whole, more conservative than liberal, wary of big government) -"American Dream" (chasing the ideal of a stable 9-5 job, a wife, two kids, a cat and a dog, and a house in the suburbs - and the pros/cons of such a notion)

If you want an interesting one to go with your major, you can do the culture of American architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright (best bet with him), William Lamb (Empire State Building), Daniel Burnham (Flatiron Building), etc. are good people to start with. Explain how American buildings at the turn of the 20th century encompassed American culture; we emerged out of the industrial revolution and after the end of WWI, we were a major superpower. Planned during the "Roaring Twenties," an era of consumerism and arguably, greed as well, there was the whole notion of how high we could go, and the Empire State Building would be a symbol of how high America is in the world.

It's interesting because countries that want to be regarded as the best or richest always try to build the tallest building, be it America, Malaysia, Dubai, etc. It's a symbol of status for whichever country has the tallest building.

Personally, I feel the "Art Deco" period is the quintessential symbol of Americana. The skyscrapers (Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, etc.), the cars (Chrysler Airflow), everything during that period really shaped modern America.

Anyway, I'm rambling at this point, but hope that helps.




MrFancypants Forum Administrator

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7th December 2003

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#3 11 years ago

Culture is a very broad term. It originally refers to anything man-made, so maybe you should grab just a part of that culture (music, literature, lifestyle, movies etc.) and concentrate on the origins, the differences, trends...




AlDaja

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5th September 2006

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#4 11 years ago

Phoenix is exactly right. America is a big nation and depending on where you are or what genre of American culture you click with...or don't is dependent on what part of the country you live in and what you personally perceive. There are generalization we attain as a people under our Constitution, but America is a melting pot of ideas and cultures from around the world, so your gonna want to narrow the topic down to a specific era or culture, say like the 'Jazz era' or one of the ones Phoenix has suggested.




Guest

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#5 11 years ago

As an Anthropologist I'll tell you that there is no one "American culture." The cultural landscape of the U.S. varies from state to state, or even city to city. Cars are huge in the Detroit-Metropolitan area. I mean Americans in general like cars but they are literally essential here. They are a symbol of adulthood, of freedom, of stability. If you don't have a car here, or god forbid don't have your license, you will probably be looked down upon by most people to some degree.

But that right there is a good topic, the variability of American culture. Explain how various cultural norms differ from region to region.




Mr. Pedantic

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8th October 2006

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#6 11 years ago

I'm not sure anyone knows very much about American culture as a whole. On the one hand, it's very shallow in terms of time; on the other hand, America is so big and there is such a variety of societies and people that it's difficult to generalize on all those sub-cultures and come up with something that says something significant about America as a whole. It's probably better to concentrate on a single geographical area - for example, where you live - and focus on that.




Captain Fist

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#7 11 years ago

Write about Hemingway, fuck yeah, Hemingway.




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#8 11 years ago

America was founded by religious zealots, authority-hating individualists, and economic opportunists...

...and nothing's changed! :)




Captain Fist

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#9 11 years ago

Sporkman;5231577America was founded by religious zealots, authority-hating individualists, and economic opportunists...

...and nothing's changed! :)

Nice retarded, incorrect, generalizations there.




Guest

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#10 11 years ago
Ihaterednecks;5231578Nice retarded, incorrect, generalizations there.

Fooey to you!

BTW, on behalf of Sarah Palin I demand that you resign your post as Emperor.




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