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Define American Culture

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posted on May, 10 2010 @ 07:08 PM
reply to post by marg6043

I was born in the 80's and I am an immigrant. I didn't know how to speak or write english. In 4th grade I was told to go to EASL (English as a second language) class by my english teacher. I went to EASL but the teacher was not there so I came back. I never went to EASL after that, I am glad I didn't because the children who took EASL at that school really never learned english, they were there to waste time & fool around.

I was tought about the founding of this great nation by teachers in the public schools who believed in teaching the constitution to students. The teachings have changed considerably since I left H.S. , now more attention is put on current events rather than focusing on the founding of the nation. Sadly the older generation of teachers had retired from teaching as they represented a dwindling group of educators who presented history in its entirety rather than chopping it up in pieces to fit a certain agenda.

[edit on 10-5-2010 by prionace glauca]

posted on May, 10 2010 @ 07:31 PM
reply to post by prionace glauca

The pop culture is post Vietnam era, Reagan was a big contributor of the downfall of the education system in the US.

As more and more states fall into budget shortcuts education in America no longer hold a spot in the first 10 when compare to developed countries in the World.

You were lucky to still been in a state that it was still making education a priority.

I worked with immigrant children and their language problems for a few years before becoming full time Spanish teacher.

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 03:02 PM
Thanks again for all the replies. I'm still not hearing how Hispanic immigrants are "destroying" American culture...if anything it would seem they are adding to the already diverse culture we have.

reply to post by Wolf321

French is part of American Culture. So is Spanish, German, Dutch and a host of other languages. The thing I was talking about was local heritage (in my case, French) was being replaced with Spanish in a direct correlation to the immigrant influx.

As I said in another thread, assimilation is simple: Assimilation is simply speaking a common language, following the rules(law,) and taking pride in and supporting this country as opposed to another.

Your local "heritage" is only French because the French people displaced the already existing local heritage of the native Americans. If you are ok with that, then you should be ok with Hispanic immigrants replacing the French heritage. It's the way it works...more Hispanics in an area will bring more Hispanic isn't a bad is the way of the world.

You thinking of "assimilation" is flawed...see the other poster who described it as a two way street. That is how it has always been in America and that is how it always will be in America. That is why whites celebrate Cinco De Mayo and love to eat tacos. It's sharing cultures and coming up with a unique combined culture you can only find in America. That is something to be proud of...not telling one group they have to abandon their culture if they move here.

I think American Culture is best described as a Melting Pot. I don't see how you can complain about it.

However, the local cultures vary from one area to another. It is the encroachment or elimination of those local cultures by illegals (or racial/cultural separatist) that is unacceptable.

It isn't is evolution. Do you expect an area to always stay the same? If the population shifts from 90% French background to 90% Hispanic you honestly expect them to all learn French??? If so...then you must be fluent in the Native American language that was spoken in the area you live in and you must know all the Native American customs that were practiced in your area before the French took it over. If you don't...then you are sounding like a hypocrit.

I had no problem experiencing a heavily hispanic culture in El Paso or San Antonio or Miami. I don't anticipate it and would find it out of place in New Orleans or Minnesota.

All you are saying is that you are unable to adapt to the changes taking place. That is a weakness and fault of your own character...not the fault of immigrants. When people get stuck in their ways...they become is your own fault...take responsibility and stop blaming others. I'm curious...are you and older individual?

reply to post by Johnze

I'm not sure you understood the intent of this topic.

reply to post by DarkStormCrow

Granted, citizens born in this country may have ancestors from another country and some of those customs may be retained in the new citizen but a true American will embrace the culture and language of this country first and foremost. They will not look to their ancestors old country with equal or more loyalty and love than to this one.

You contradict yourself...our culture is only based on people retaining their old culture...mixing it with others...and coming out with something "American". So they must hold on to their old customs and culture...without it America would have no culture at all.

I don't undertand the "embrace the culture and language of this country first and foremost". Our culture is a mixture of all others...we don't have a unique or's all from different origins. And I really don't understand the language bit...America uses the language of ENGLAND. So are you saying to be American you must embrace England's language??? That seems like you would be more proud of being a Brit than an American. I would think to be proud of being an American you would embrace the FREEDOM for anyone to speak whatever language they wish.

This is suppose to be the "land of the free" right? We love our "free speech" right? But then some turn around and demand that others must speak English...they wish to take away their FREEDOM to speak whatever they wish.

It is all very contradictory.

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 03:17 PM
To me American culture is Woodstock and Bob Dylan. I do not see pop culture as much of American culture as many other nations have their pop culture that resembles our own. I am denouncing Michael Jackson from American culture... Period.

[edit on 11-5-2010 by gougitousakusha]

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 03:25 PM
reply to post by gougitousakusha

Isn't "Woodstock and Bob Dylan" pop culture???

I'm failing to see the difference.

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 03:30 PM
reply to post by OutKast Searcher

You got me, busted. Not so much any more I assume about Bob Dylan. Still he sung about Our problems as people and a country, and i cant really say why i see Woodstock as real American culture, Its just a memorable event, a lot of heart went into it.

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 04:28 PM
reply to post by OutKast Searcher

Without a common language we are not a nation, that doesnt mean you can not speak German, French, Spanish or whatever, However in mixed social situations and Governmental purposes however one should embarace American English, not the Kings English of the UK, and Before we get into a spat over wether there is a such thing as American English be fully aware that besides the Kings English there are 6 distinct types of English recognized outside of the Kings English.

Types of World English

I dont understand the refusal of some not all of the recent Hispanic immigrants to learn American English for mixed social situations and for governmental purposes. Every other wave of immigrants have learned American English and assimilated into society, most non Hispanic immigrants go out of thier way to learn American English. Most European Americans ancestors where not English, the largest European immigrant group to America is actually the Germans and I dont see Americans whose ancestors came from Germany demanding we all speak German.

Until Hispanic immigrants embrace American English as a language There social mobility will stagnate and they will be treated as second class citizens and they will be continue to be exploited.

As a nation that is a mixture of many cultures languages and traditions it is most imperative that a single Language be used for Government and mixed social situations, just as we all believe in a Single set of Laws in the form of the US Constitution that binds us all together.

While you seem stuck on the Language issue, do you still say that Americans have no distinct culture of our own, granted a great many things in American culture are brought into the melting pot by those that choose to immigrate here, but are you firm in the belief that there is nothing American?

My Ancestors are English, Danish , German and Finnish, and except for the English ancestors that came here in the late 1600's all of my other ancestors have learned American English and assimilated as Americans.

Why should Americans whose ancestors have immigrated and assimilated in the past expect any less from the current wave of immigrants?

My Flag is not the UK flag, the flag of Denmark, the flag of Germany, nor the flag Finland. I dont demand that society cater to me by speaking the Kings English, or Danish or German or Finnish or Swedish or Sami, and I have no right to do.

So if I want to speak one of those languages in my home or non social or governmental situations no one is stopping and no one is asking Hispanics to to totally stop speaking Spanish either. My Constitution is the US Constitution not the Magna Carta, or the Constitution of any other country.

My wife is a first generation American whose parents are Argentines, her parents learned American English and have assimilated with no problems , My adoptived sister is Vietnamese She has learned American English with no problems and actually has a stronger southern US accent than I do.

Either our language, American English and our founding documents, Declaration of Independence and the Constitution along with the Flag and other symbols of our Nation bind us together or we are not a Nation any longer and will fall into a squabbling mass of Balkanized regions without respect for one another.

Immigrants are most welcome in America, but come to America with the intention of becoming Americans, use our Language, Honor our Laws and respect our customs and traditions, if your intention is to come here and cause strife and division to carve out a section or our nation and create a new nation exclusive to your own "race" then you have come here for the wrong reason. We have already had one Civil War and I personally doubt that my fellow Americans want another one.

US Population 1860 31,443,321
Casualties American Civil War 618,000 that is one in every 50 Americans

US population in 2009 estimated 305,000,000 one out of every 50 Americans leaves a casualty count of 6,100,000

We are definitely headed toward that casuaty figure if we as a Nation continue down the path of Balkanization and Seperatism.

Excuse the typos please I am rather pressed for time with other tasks

posted on May, 11 2010 @ 04:55 PM
reply to post by centurion1211

You are right... that is my point. American culture is taking someone else's culture and making it our own. We don't need to be afraid of Mexico as much as they need to be afraid of the US "Americanizing" their culture. Again, Taco Bell, Corona, Cancun, Tex-Mex, the music, the clothes, we've even incorporated the lingo....adios amigo. Have you ever been to South of the Border on I-95 on the NC/SC entire point in real life.

posted on May, 12 2010 @ 01:55 AM
American culture is an amalgam of the history of America. It is a blend of cultures from the immigrants who have come here and contributed to the melting pot that is America. People come here in waves, the germans, italians, irish, russians, hispanics, etc. and share their heritage with everyone else.

The big problem isn't "how does the influx of hispanics threaten american culture" its more "how does a group of people who enter a nation under a veil of illegality and congregate in insular conclaves partake in that amazing melting pot of a culture called america?"

There are a number of groups that have a vested interest in keeping illegal immigrants from assimilating into american culture. Many don't even know that there is a way to come to america legally as they have been convinced that hispanics aren't allowed into america through normal channels. They are told that if they speak to americans that they will be turned into the police and tortured. This may sound outlandish, but if you think of the corruption in the Mexican legal system, it's not that unbelievable to the average mexican.

There are many other myths that are perpetuated within hispanic communities, like if they become legal, they won't be able to work or if they become legal, they will become targets of a "secret police" that targets hispanics. It's basically the same thing that every other immigrant group has had to deal with since the beginning of the nation. The most glaring difference with this wave is that our government seems to be backing those who would keep these people a second class group of manual laborers who are uninformed about the potential prosperity that this nation offers.

posted on May, 12 2010 @ 04:27 AM
I saw this thread about defining American Culture and I think at this point our culture is and has been in flux for a while now. The corporations have definitely taken control of it, look at the American Idol show for a big example of that. I grew up in the 80's and I think this decade was really the last time you could look at our culture here in the US and see a definite one. Even though the hardship in the 80's popular music had variety, different styles and beats. Today, it all sounds the same really, one hip-hop song sounds almost the same as another one. Movies during the 80's were entertaining and just plain fun. Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, but at the same time, they taught us lessons about messing with the time line and about what pressures high school people faced back then. Now, movies are about the shock value and flashy-ness of the latest computer generated effects or entire worlds. Other than Avatar and a select few, none of them have any redeeming value and are just remakes of movies that came out in the 80s.

All of this ties into and represents our culture today, which is pretty much watered down and very bland and boring. All it does is directly rehash what came before and offers hardly any new ideas. It's like Hollywood has run out of ideas, but that could be because we have a bunch of baby boomers (no offense) still in charge who have lost touch with what it means to be original and that it's ok to think outside the box and not do what has came before. Most importantly, it's ok to not reward a convicted criminal and former governor of Illinois , and let him be on a reality television show and still have it be entertaining. I can still be entertained, they don't have to go for shock value in everything and having morals is really cool and not boring.

If a mom who has 8 kids and lives off the state of California can become popular or Kate from Kate Plus Eight can get on a dance show and be voted to stay week after week, and all she ever did to contribute to our culture is be selfish, I think this country is in trouble if those are the values we are rewarding in our culture and it's carrying over to how we behave towards each other and how we treat others too.

Those are just my thoughts

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