Culture can be defined as the unique way of life of a people that isolate them from the rest. It is evident in their mental attitudes, rules, organizations and symbolic objects. The Culture of the United States of America is western with a lot of British element. It is characterized by the influence from Europe, Native, African & Asian Americans and those migrating to the USA (Martin). It is mainly structured around the enlightenment (USA Government, 2012) thus displays support for individualism, independence of thought, equal treatment of all citizens, Christianity, democratic governance and patriotism among others. America’s political and economic norms are related in that they must be geared towards the entire society’s well-being. The USA has the biggest economy in the world and its citizens have the benefit of high living standards. The native language is English and serves as a home for many corporate firms and manufacturing industries among other businesses (Frost, 2005).
The culture of a people is displayed in three main ways. The first determinants of culture are the espoused values. This defines the values passed onto a people by their leaders (Tharp, 2009). The political system of the United States has influenced the culture of its citizens in various ways. Upon its foundation in the 18th century, USA adopted the ideals of the enlightenment which recognized the importance of life, freedom and happiness (Frost, 2005). These values are evident among the citizens shown by their value for individualism and independence of thought. America’s political traditions are guided by the principle that the leader’s personal interests must always bear good for the whole society. This explains why citizens value democracy; their leaders respect their rights and they, therefore, respect each other’s rights. The USA is a capitalist nation seen by the lack of a national health policy. Hence the citizenry is extremely hardworking, and individual economic success is important for them (Frost, 2005).
The second factor affecting culture is the enacted values. These refer to the attitudes displayed by the people in their everyday lives (Tharp, 2009). Americans generally display patriotism through the use of short but formal references of their country such as “The US.” Citizens tend to participate in various clubs and organizations, and this is seen to enhance the unity among them. Furthermore, they can be referred to as being charitable. America is among the largest donors in the world and several charitable organizations in the country. The citizens display little interest in other cultures of the world. This is evidenced by the fact that very few European publications are sold in the USA while films from other countries are not widely viewed. When compared to Europeans, they travel to other countries less (Frost, 2005).
Observable artifacts in a country also help tell about its peoples’ culture. These are unique identifiers of a people that can be seen or felt such as buildings, technologies, clothing and rituals among others (Tharp, 2009). The architecture has a heavy Greek influence and is characterized by tall and spectacular buildings (USA Government, 2012). Most Americans are Protestant though other religions such as Catholicism and Methodist exist. The USA is popular for its entertainment industry with films and music receiving worldwide appreciation. Rituals such as death and weddings are important among the Americans. The public show of affection or emotion is common. They also possess great interest in technology seeing that most new technologies are either developed or first adopted in the US (Frost, 2005).
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