Updated on June 8, 2015
Culture of the U.S.
One evening while philosophizing over beer I was informed by a few “Irish lads” that every American they meet claims Irish heritage. To be fair there is probably more Irish people outside of Ireland than in, but it got me to thinking. Why is it that American’s are so quick to identify with their ancestral cultures? Are we afflicted by a lack of identity?
There are certain characteristics that are stereotypically American, but few of them stand up to reality. This leads me to the question, what exactly does it mean culturally to be an American? I find myself stumped for an answer. Perhaps it is our lack of even slight homogeneity that keeps us divided. It is as if the “melting pot” was set to low and rather than mixing the cultures remained stratified.
I do think that we are beginning to form regional cultures. There are distinct cultural differences between the North East, South, South West, Mid-West, and North West. Any one who has moved from one region of the country to another will agree that there are major differences. What does it mean to be a nation culturally divided by region? Maybe that is only natural for a nation that stretches across as much land as ours.
This still leaves me with the main question, what does it mean to be an American? What ties us together as a people? Is there anything holding us together as a people?