Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

What is the Definition of American Culture?
rebelbase ^ | 5/21/03 | rebelbase

Posted on 05/21/2003 8:58:25 AM PDT by Rebelbase

Does anyone have brief definition of American Culture? As a nation we are such a conglomeration of ethnicity and various cultures that its difficult to pin down an exact definition.

Does our culture change with the increasing influx of immigrants? Is American culture dying and being replaced by foreign culture?


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: applepie; bakklava; tacos
Got into a disagreement with someone who took the position that since we are a nation of immigrants, there is no one true "American Culture".

Your thoughts?

1 posted on 05/21/2003 8:58:25 AM PDT by Rebelbase
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Rebelbase
Judeo-Christian founded, no official language (English is most-widely used, however we are well on our way to becoming Spanish-speaking). U.S. government is based loosely on U.S. Constitution (down the tube we go). What culture, you ask? I'll get back to you if we ever secure it from the invaders and cultural "progressives".
2 posted on 05/21/2003 9:02:02 AM PDT by SunStar (Democrats piss me off!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rebelbase
I don't think there is a singular American culture - instead, there are many subcultures, such as Northeastern, Southern and Bezerkley. And within those subcultures there are economic and ethnic differences - a middle-class Northeasterner is different than a poor white Northeasterner, and so forth.

IMO the changes to this country are not from immigration, but from a huge ongoing political battle to define the nation's value system. That in turn impacts immigration and its impact on the country by creating a system where immigrants are not strongly encouraged to assimilate.

3 posted on 05/21/2003 9:02:33 AM PDT by dirtboy (someone kidnapped dirtboy and replaced him with an exact replica)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rebelbase
Long neck Buds, Krispy Kremes, and Beach music.
4 posted on 05/21/2003 9:03:01 AM PDT by Gamecock (The PCA; We're the "intolerant" ones! (As seen on Taglinus FreeRepublicus, 11th Edition)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rebelbase
There is a distinct American culture. To discern it all one has to do is travel abroad. You find out very quickly that as an American you are much different than anyone else, in both thought processes and behaviors.

As far as immigration changing our culture, all I know is it sure has changed it where I live.

5 posted on 05/21/2003 9:05:30 AM PDT by skeeter (Fac ut vivas)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rebelbase
Coca-Cola, Big Macs, and bad sitcoms.
6 posted on 05/21/2003 9:06:01 AM PDT by jpl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rebelbase
Whiskey sexy
7 posted on 05/21/2003 9:07:38 AM PDT by rudypoot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunStar
The unique element of the US culture comes from the fact that we are a nation of immigrants. The United States of America is a country where if you wish you can become an American. Try moving to France and becoming a Frenchman. it doesn't work that way. Almost all other countries are the same. If you aren't native, you aren't really "true blue".

In the United States, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, etc, if you wish you can become a "true blue" American. All that hyphenation crap is a personal choice and a symptom of how our culture is under attack.

The fact that we adopt from everyones heritage, from October Fest to St. Patrick's Day to Cinco-de-Mayo highlights that culture.
8 posted on 05/21/2003 9:14:44 AM PDT by CMAC51
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: jpl
And Jimmy Buffett!
9 posted on 05/21/2003 9:16:51 AM PDT by ThinkingMan (How's my posting? Call 1-800-UR-RIGHT)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Rebelbase
The USofA is a CAPITALIST - REPUBLIC. We have a defind border and language. We are the richest and happiest people on Earth. No other nation can make these statements. Guess why so many, not all, hate or are jealous of our country and citizens.
10 posted on 05/21/2003 9:25:47 AM PDT by Blake#1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rebelbase
Haven't you heard? We don't have any culture!
11 posted on 05/21/2003 9:26:32 AM PDT by Khepera (Do not remove by penalty of law!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ThinkingMan
Jimmy Buffett bump
12 posted on 05/21/2003 9:30:42 AM PDT by Gamecock (The PCA; We're the "intolerant" ones! (As seen on Taglinus FreeRepublicus, 11th Edition)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Rebelbase
Whenever I get into a discussion of "what's American culture", I always reference this statement:

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness -- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

All our rights, all our power, all our advantages, all our diversity, all our faults come from this statement. This is still a bunch of radical concepts that are antithetical to and confound 3/4 of the governments on this planet.

13 posted on 05/21/2003 9:36:41 AM PDT by RonF
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rebelbase
I answered this awhile ago...

Traditional American culture is an amalgam of the cultures of the people whom have assimilated into America.

Our culture is constantly evolving as cultural traditions we find to our liking are adopted and our culture is shared in return.

What Traditional American Culture is not is multi-pluralism. Traditionally, we do not abide people who refuse to assimilate, nor their cultural views.
14 posted on 05/21/2003 9:37:23 AM PDT by Maelstrom (To prevent misinterpretation or abuse of the Constitution:The Bill of Rights limits government power)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Maelstrom
"Traditionally, we do not abide people who refuse to assimilate, nor their cultural views."

The elitist liberals call us bigots for doing that.
15 posted on 05/21/2003 9:46:10 AM PDT by Rebelbase (220, 221 whatever it takes.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Rebelbase
Of course...but then they would call us bigots anyway.
16 posted on 05/21/2003 9:49:26 AM PDT by Maelstrom (To prevent misinterpretation or abuse of the Constitution:The Bill of Rights limits government power)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Rebelbase
Born in rebelion, tempered through compassion, and demographically Judeo-Christian at it's foundation.

A nation grown through earning allies, stabilized on the idea of freedom and liberty, flourishing through keeping our word to friend and foe alike.

17 posted on 05/21/2003 9:58:54 AM PDT by ChadGore (Al Sharpton. Because, like todays Republicans, it's time minorities hold real power)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rebelbase
American culture?

Whatever it was, it ain't no more. leftists, illegal immigration, TV, and hollyweird have destroyed American culture, and the American character.

They have done so with a well thought out time table and roadmap, incrementally, deliberately, insidiously and most thoroughly. I no longer recognize this America, and have become a stranger in the land of my birth.

What was done to the American Indian was a million times worse than any fate I may claim. But I can have some small inkling and empathy to what they felt as their worlds crumbled and disappeared before their very eyes.
18 posted on 05/21/2003 10:32:33 AM PDT by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rebelbase
The United States were formed around an English cultural core. Not everyone was English, of course, but the predominant language and political and cultural institutions came from Britain. The Constitution, now taken as the basis of American nationality, owes much to English models and would have been impossible without them.

With the beginnings of large scale immigration from other countries in the 1840s, American culture took on first a Northern European, then an all-European, then a global character. It's worth noting though, that even in the earlier stages, African-Americans were as important to the culture as Scots or Germans or Irish.

So we have British America down to the mid-19th century, Northern European America until the beginning of the 20th Century, European America through to the 1960s and a global or multicultural America since then. Not that non-European groups weren't here in the 19th century and before, but they were peripheral to the dominant culture, and now they are not. Even when they made major contributions to the culture, these depended on adoption by the main culture.

An important question now is whether the existing culture and political system can survive radical ethnic diversity. Will we all be assimilated to the once prevailing American model? Will it be replaced? Or transformed? Or fragmented into separate cultures or even new countries? Can a "multicultural" country can truly claim to have a distinctive culture of its own? Or does it simply become another province of the global market?

Wars, like the one we've just fought, strengthen loyalty to the nation and social cohesion, but we're not out of the woods yet. Multiculturalism, globalism and "postmodernism" are hostile to the nation state, and whether we'll survive this century as one country is uncertain. Perhaps assimilation and intermarriage will prevent fragmentation into ethnic tribes, but we may still find ourselves troubled by just what "American culture." It may be that modern technological and global culture will eventually come to mean more than our own national culture.

Christopher Clausen's "Faded Mosaic: The Emergence of Post-Cultural America" is an interesting look at these questions. Clausen argues that we no longer have "a culture." Nor do we truly have many cultures. For Clausen, culturelessness is our condition. Mass immigration, pop culture, globalization and radical individualism mean that we no longer have those cultural structures that existed before. Whether this is a good thing or not remains to be seen. Clausen's book is thought-provoking, especially on the question of whether our individualism has meant the weakening of the culture which produced it.

19 posted on 05/21/2003 10:40:01 AM PDT by x
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Maelstrom
so...We are Borg ?
20 posted on 05/21/2003 11:30:01 AM PDT by stylin19a (2 wrongs don't make a right.....but 3 rights make a left)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock; jpl
'Red necks, white socks, and Blue Ribbon Beer'

It's a country song. ;^)
21 posted on 05/21/2003 11:58:05 AM PDT by headsonpikes
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: stylin19a
Resistance is Futile
22 posted on 05/21/2003 12:14:54 PM PDT by Maelstrom (To prevent misinterpretation or abuse of the Constitution:The Bill of Rights limits government power)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: x
Clausen just needs to escape the city.
23 posted on 05/21/2003 12:16:32 PM PDT by Maelstrom (To prevent misinterpretation or abuse of the Constitution:The Bill of Rights limits government power)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Khepera
Haven't you heard? We don't have any culture!

As a jazz lover, I respectfully disagree. It's our oldest artistic cultural contribution to the world. Politically, our Constitution is a gift to the world, too, and many have been modeled after it.

24 posted on 05/21/2003 12:16:41 PM PDT by hunter112
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: hunter112
Don't Forget Bluegrass
It is an origional american form of music.
http://bluegrasspro.com/
25 posted on 05/21/2003 12:58:23 PM PDT by Khepera (Do not remove by penalty of law!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Rebelbase
Got into a disagreement with someone who took the position that since we are a nation of immigrants, there is no one true "American Culture".

That's silly.  There is no fixed American culture.  Whatever the immigrants
bring,  they lose some as they assimilate, but not before such things happen
as (and this was twenty years ago) the largest per capita consumption of
jalopeno peppers is Atlanta, Georgia.

The culture is like a river.  You can never put your foot into the same
one twice, because it is always changing.  The banks remain, but there is no true river.

26 posted on 05/21/2003 3:40:13 PM PDT by gcruse (Vice is nice, but virtue can hurt you. --Bill Bennett)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CMAC51
The unique element of the US culture comes from the fact that we are a nation of immigrants. The United States of America is a country where if you wish you can become an American. Try moving to France and becoming a Frenchman. it doesn't work that way. Almost all other countries are the same. If you aren't native, you aren't really "true blue".
Yes. And even people who are born in a given country may not be accepted in it. I give you the Turks born in Germany of guest-worker parents . . . not actually German, but fluent native-speakers of the language (and no other). I could introduce you to one such--English is his third, not his second and certainly not his first, language. But he found a home in NY city, where "everyone is from somewhere else, and nobody thinks anything of it."

A "Turk" who loves Turkey but considers himself an American with a German accent. As soon as he can get naturalized . . .


27 posted on 05/21/2003 6:03:55 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Rebelbase
American Culture is a mindset more then anything else.

American food is: basically slap every thing on a bun or stuff it in a wrap, why? Because you're in a hurry! Maybe you don't stop to smell the roses enough but at least you're going somewhere. Unlike many nations where the tendency is to drift with the current.

America Culture is: accepting. While you may live years in another country and never be accepted in America as long as you are willing to work and pull your own weight you are welcome.

American Culture is: Looking confused when someone tells you, "you should know your place and keep it." Your place? What the heck are they talking about? Your place is as high or as low as you want to go. And if you change your mind about where you want to be then go for it!

American Culture is: Forgiving. You are the fogivingest bunch I have ever seen. Not sure if the national motto shouldn't be, "Get over it! We have!" You are honestly confused by the grudges the rest of the world holds over this little thing and that little thing.

American Culture is: Open. Drive across the country. All of those houses and no fences. People can just walk right up to your door. No iron bars on the windows either. Sure you may find a few in big cities or among the very wealthy but in other countries the first thing you do is build a wall.

American Culture is: Caring. You worry about the world and are quick off the mark to care for someone in trouble.

American Culture is: Stable government. You have rules and you follow them. Things run in a timely fashion and according to a set schedule. You don't think that is a culture? Live a few years in a country that doesn't have it. Learn to jump at loud noises. Never know as you go to bed at night who will have the running of your life tomorrow. You remember the 2000 election? Try living like that for years on end.

American Culture is: Choices. You can be you. So simple yet in many countries who you will be is written from birth if not before. It does not matter what you want. Family and culture bind you. To reject those bindings is to be an outcast. The most beautiful words in any language, "I choose."

Just a few bedtime thoughts.

And now I choose to shut up and get some sleep.

28 posted on 05/21/2003 6:48:06 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Never hand someone a gun unless you're sure where they'll point it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rebelbase
We have no distinct culture. But we have a political culture and it is based on Anglo jurisprudence. America has many forms of ethnic politics but we always come back too basic Anglo law. We don't have a common culture. Our Founders never thought we would. That is the basis of the federal system we adopted in 1789. But we lack that today don't we?

In fact- all of modern American politics could be boiled down to those who want one American culture and those who don't.

29 posted on 05/21/2003 9:29:02 PM PDT by Agricola
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson