Many philosophers have come up with different definitions of culture. All the definitions that are available for this word are backed up with ideologies and some facts. Therefore, it becomes hard to rule out that an individual definition does not fit the word. However, some philosophers and institutions can be considered to have provided a more detailed definition for culture. The Centre for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota has one of the best definitions for this word. Here, culture is defined as a pattern of character traits, common knowledge, and understanding shared with a group of people through socialization.
One of the main reasons why this definition can be considered to be the best is the fact that it acknowledges culture is not all about behaviors but a lot of factors combined (Lysgard 187). Character trait of individuals is just one element that can be used to distinguish cultural differences. Other things such as knowledge, language, understanding, and fashion also define the culture of a particular group of people. The definition given by the University of Minnesota is also clear on the fact that culture is attained from socialization.
Some people define culture as the shared knowledge that a group creates for the sake of expressing themselves. The definition is okay since it has stated that a generation will always need a common way of expressing their opinions. However, it does not represent culture as a broad aspect as it is defined by CARLA. A good definition of culture is one that sees more than just a common knowledge and language amidst the community (Birukou and Blanzieri 21).
Linton in his book, The Cultural Background of Personality, defines culture as a connection of behaviors within a group of people who can also transmit these traits to other generations. The definition given by the University of Minnesota does not state anything about members of a community being the ones to communicate cultural elements to other interested parties from other communities. There is a possibility that a person can adopt a culture through reading and watching (Lysgard 193).
American culture is one that is a combination of people from different beliefs. The United States has a significant population of 320 million as per the latest census. Immigrants have also been finding a real home in the U.S. It is an indication that America is an intercultural community. People from Africa, Asia, and Europe have over the years adopted into the American system (Zimmermann). Therefore, the American culture is considered to be a configuration of various lifestyles. Over centuries, many changes have been seen in the lifestyle of the American people read about this in the american identity essay.
We can describe the current Culture in the United States under different areas of a community. One key factor to look at is the aspect of language in this community. According to the statistics released by the U.S Census Bureau, there are over three hundred languages spoken in the country. It stands out to be one of the unique elements of the American culture. Despite having a lot of languages in this country, there are four major non-English ones widely spoken today. They include German, French, Spanish and Chinese.
The religious end of the American culture today is also a factor to analyze. Many years back, the United States was considered to have accepted Christianity as the only option for religion. In those days, most people were Christians while a few groups could openly say that they have no religious affiliation. The pattern started to change over years as people from different parts of the globe moved into the country. Today, the nation’s culture is made up of individuals from various religious beliefs. The data released by ABC polls in 2012 indicated that 83% of people in America are attached to the beliefs of Christians, while other religions such as Judaism and Islamic believes have been introduced. However, the other religions are considered to be minors since their representation is less than two percent. It shows that there is still a big number of Americans who do not relate to any religious stands.
Art is another crucial element in the culture of the people of America. Today, American movies and Television shows are being watched across the globe with a lot of positive responses being reported. Hollywood has been the center of quality productions in the world for many years now. On the other hand, Broadway is proving America to be also a home to theatrical presentations. In the field of music, the U.S has musicians who perform across the globe. It is a sign that the American culture is being spread worldwide through music.
The American people are considered to be a pluralistic society that easily accepts new individuals into their community. For a long time, the U.S citizens have been tolerant thus immigrants find an easy time to adopt the system (Zimmermann). Recently, the Government of the United States has announced that it will accommodate more refugees from different parts of the world within a year.
Despite having a lot of positive elements of the American culture, there are few unpleasant traits among some Americans. For instance, the younger citizens are reportedly becoming law-offenders. Today, most of the traffic offenders in the U.S are the young people. They are considered to be always in a hurry, and they also think going against the laws without hurting someone is not a crime. It is the reason young drivers are nowadays disobeying traffic lights when the other side of the highway is clear (Olson).
Most of the American citizens are known to have the culture of being law-abiding. However, this is prone to change in the future with many young people getting involved in crimes. If caution is not taken early and the law-breakers penalized, the next generation is going to be hard to control (Olson). The culture of tolerance might also fade in the coming years. It is going to be hard for citizens who break laws to remain tolerant with new people trying to fit into their systems.
However, the culture of America is expected to become more diverse in the coming generations. Taking an example of the film industry, Hollywood has opened up, and many artists from other parts of the world are now making it big there. We expect more foreign actors and actresses to perform in Hollywood movies. The American culture is also expected to spread across the globe through music. From the trends, U.S hip hop and RnB artists will in the future stage more performances in other continents. As the culture of America diversifies, it is also going to be adopted in many parts of the world.