What Defines The American Culture?

By Antonia ńĆirjak on May 2 2020 in Society

Defining American culture in simple terms is not as easy as it may seem.
Defining American culture in simple terms is not as easy as it may seem.
  • With over 300 million people of different races and ethnicities, The United States is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world.
  • There are over 300 languages spoken across the United States.
  • The popular culture of the US (encompassing arts, sports, music, movies, and many other cultural aspects) is one of the most influential and recognizable phenomena in the world.

Defining American culture in simple terms is not as easy as it may seem. American culture is not only defined by its fast-paced lifestyle, fashion, and "to-go" coffee cups. It is also the culture of many diversity, different religions, races, and ethnicities. It is a culture that nourishes competition and political correctness, and also tries to enforce the freedom of speech. Some would say that American culture is contradictory, a flux of different people and values. Is there something that is uniquely American and recognizable as such? Probably Americana!

The Origin Of Diversity In The United States

The definition of culture is a subject of many academic debates, but most will agree that culture is many things and that it is embedded in how we behave, what we eat, how we tell right from wrong, what music we listen and clothes we wear. Culture is all those things and many more. More than 300 million people live in The United States, making it the third-largest country in the world, and also one of the most culturally diverse (racially and ethnically) countries.

Throughout its history, American culture has been influenced by many different cultures like Native American, Latin American, African, and others, and is often called a "melting pot." Simply put, it is a metaphor that describes a heterogeneous society becoming more homogenous. Since every community had different ways of adapting to life in the United States, they might keep their cultural traditions, customs, and language.

credit: View Apart / Shutterstock.com
American culture has been influenced by many different cultures like Native American, Latin American, African, and others, and is often called a "melting pot." Image credit: View Apart / Shutterstock.com

Still, they will also absorb the American customs and their way of life in addition to their own. More than 300 languages are spoken in the United States, and while there is no official language per se, around 90% of the population understands the English language. Religion diversity is also another aspect of the American culture, and many different religions are practiced daily in the United States, with Christianity being the most prominent religion.

Kaleidoscope Of Different Influences

There is something unmistakably American in the cultural heritage of the United States, and Americana is a term that encompasses the history, geography, and folklore of a certain part of American culture. It is a period that idealizes diners, apple pies, baseball, and many other motifs, along with ideals of The American Dream, patriotism and nostalgia. America is also known for its mass media production and rich, popular culture.

Ever since the '50s, American television programs found a place in many homes across the globe. Even today, the popular culture of America is very influential and recognizable all over the world. The rise of Hollywood made people fall in love with movies and give birth to an industry of cheap entertainment. Truly many things define American culture, but the real beauty is in its diversity and contradictions, and all the different people and cultures that make it a unique country.

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