Culture of the U.S.

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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?

4 Comments on “Culture of the U.S.

  1. I can think of a few aspects unique to “American” culture (meaning that of the U.S., only part of America the greater whole). Unfortunately the true american culture has been vilified by the liberally-dominated media and popular culture. My family is steeped in a heritage that is truly american. Unfortunately, these traditions that I can Identify with as my roots have been made into a caricature by the afore-mentioned culprits. To embrace my roots, by their characterization, would make me a racist bigot redneck. I am none of those things.

    I don’t think there is a lack of american identity, only a lack of character in our sources of information and culture. We are constantly barraged by the ideals of the morally bankrupt. I try to be stubborn and respect myself and mine, no matter how vulgar their depiction of it may be.

  2. I can think of a few aspects unique to “American” culture (meaning that of the U.S., only part of America the greater whole). Unfortunately the true american culture has been vilified by the liberally-dominated media and popular culture. My family is steeped in a heritage that is truly american. Unfortunately, these traditions that I can Identify with as my roots have been made into a caricature by the afore-mentioned culprits. To embrace my roots, by their characterization, would make me a racist bigot redneck. I am none of those things.

    I don’t think there is a lack of american identity, only a lack of character in our sources of information and culture. We are constantly barraged by the ideals of the morally bankrupt. I try to be stubborn and respect myself and mine, no matter how vulgar their depiction of it may be.

  3. I am Irish and it is funny how many Americans have told me they were Irish in the past. If you are born and raised in America, you are American. Just like I was born and raised in Ireland so Im Irish, of course we are in no way offended by these claims, but this post does raise an interesting question, but for all cultures. What does it mean to be Irish? We dont see ourselves as Irish because we drink Guinness and do Irish dancing because the vast majority of us do neither, i think it all falls into steretypes.