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Old 2010-09-04, 18:14   Link #1
yoropa
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American Culture

Forgive me if this thread already exists.

Let me give some context on myself. I was born and raised here in America as the son of immigrants. I have spent my entire educational life in the United States, in schools where I was the only one of my particular ethnic group. As in, I did not go to a specific school meant for children of immigrants, I went to a school meant for Americans. Yet despite this, I don't understand what constitutes American culture. This thread is for a discussion on that where you can ask, answer, and discuss this.

I'll begin with a question:
What do most Americans do for fun?

I have been curious for about five years, yet I have not figured out what people in this country do for fun, beyond the vague terms of "whatever I want." I have pinpointed that Americans like to party and enjoy alcohol, sex, and shopping. I also have determined that Americans like going to the movies, and certain groups enjoy video gaming, but a lot of groups enjoy television. I still feel like I know very little on this. It would be helpful to know.
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Old 2010-09-04, 18:24   Link #2
NightbatŪ
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Your idea of Americans having fun makes me and somewhere around 90% of all people in my country american
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Old 2010-09-04, 18:28   Link #3
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I would guess that the sex, the alcohol and the shopping constitutes the majority of people in the US. The same can apply to the UK and many other countries in the world, especially the west. But there are other things people could do for fun. There's always the gaming culture, which is stronger in other countries than in others. In Europe, it's not quite as strong as in the US or Japan, for instance (at least in the case of Italy). There's also the sports culture, entertainment and various other things. I suppose it depends on the general preference of the majority really. That said, I don't know what people like to do in the US as I have not been there for 14 years now so I can't give a precise answer at this stage But, as Kyero pointed out, if sex, alcohol and shopping are what makes the american culture, you could call practically everyone in the world American
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Old 2010-09-04, 18:35   Link #4
yoropa
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Not saying that alcohol, sex, and shopping are exclusive to Americans, often times you'll see cultural overlaps. Sports culture is one I forgot about, good to mention that.
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Old 2010-09-04, 18:36   Link #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoropa View Post
Not saying that alcohol, sex, and shopping are exclusive to Americans, often times you'll see cultural overlaps. Sports culture is one I forgot about, good to mention that.
It's unfortunate that the sports culture isn't exactly as big as it used to be. I mean, professional sportsment don't really get that much reward unless they're involved with something else at the same time or they're immensely successful.
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Old 2010-09-04, 18:48   Link #6
ChainLegacy
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I've determined that you're trying to judge American culture based on extroverts around your age, and that to really understand American culture you need to study history, and more specifically artistic history. A good place to start (imo) is the history and progression of rock and roll towards popular music (jazz, swing, blues, rock, etc).
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Old 2010-09-04, 18:53   Link #7
Random32
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I can't really give you anything that Americans do for fun universally, but we seem to have a sport called American Football that to my knowledge isn't played anywhere else in the globe. Americans also enjoy watching TV with 97 percent of households owning a television and a majority owning several. Americans listen to their own pop music and watch Hollywood movies most of the time.

another thing though unrelated to your question, America is one of the more religious of the developed countries in the world, with 65% of population considering religion important and ranking slightly below Argentina in a list of countries sorted religious importance and far behind Sweden or Japan

btw, I agree with the person above. studying your friends will not give you an accurate or full view of American culture. Its the same as learning everything about Japan from anime. I would suggest going to Wikipedia's page on American culture and finding things to research from there.
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Old 2010-09-04, 18:54   Link #8
yoropa
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Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
I've determined that you're trying to judge American culture based on extroverts around your age, and that to really understand American culture you need to study history, and more specifically artistic history. A good place to start (imo) is the history and progression of rock and roll towards popular music (jazz, swing, blues, rock, etc).
I've taken most interest in the literary culture of this nation, more than the music culture. But this does bring up a good point, and is definitely something that would separate us from other nations (since the work is unique to our nations). I suppose then to the "What do Americans do for fun?" question, we should also include musical performances as well as theater performances and art exhibitions, and there's a point of discussion there on what exactly encompasses those genres.
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Old 2010-09-04, 18:58   Link #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Random32 View Post
I can't really give you anything that Americans do for fun universally, but we seem to have a sport called American Football that to my knowledge isn't played anywhere else in the globe. Americans also enjoy watching TV with 97 percent of households owning a television and a majority owning several. Americans listen to their own pop music and watch Hollywood movies most of the time.

another thing though unrelated to your question, America is one of the more religious of the developed countries in the world, with 65% of population considering religion important and ranking slightly below Argentina in a list of countries sorted religious importance and far behind Sweden or Japan
Allow me to correct you on that. It is played globally. There are American Football teams in plenty of other countries, even in Italy where we have the Italian Football League founded two years ago. The UK has the BAFA Community League, Japan has the X-League, Mexico has the ONEFA, and there's plenty of other national organizations for American Football worldwide
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Old 2010-09-04, 19:04   Link #10
Random32
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wow, never knew that...
let me correct myself, American football is far more popular in America than anywhere else
would that statement be correct?
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Old 2010-09-04, 19:08   Link #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Random32 View Post
wow, never knew that...
let me correct myself, American football is far more popular in America than anywhere else
would that statement be correct?
I suppose Rugby's much more popular than American Football outside of the US
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Old 2010-09-04, 19:20   Link #12
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As much as it pains me to say so, I'm not actually German. I'm just German by blood majority. So I'll consider myself an American on this one.

What we Americans do for fun? What everyone else does for fun. There is basketball, baseball, social interactions, etc etc. Lots of stuff to list.

if you want the most prominent in our culture, I don't really know. I myself never paid that much attention to what other people did. I think America's 'fun' is being social, fighting war on terrorism, making huge mistakes financially, etc.
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Old 2010-09-04, 19:24   Link #13
Qikz
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I was thinking the same thing the other day about British Culture, I think you just get so used to your own culture that it doesn't really feel like a cultural thing anymore. British History and Culture is astounding but when you've lived here all your life, you never really think about it.

I think that's what draws a lot of Westerners over to Eastern culture and vise versa, it's almost like a completely new world for both sides and it can sometimes blow your mind just how different we are due to the few periods of time in history where we either did or didn't interact. Like when the Tokugawa clan (I think) blocked all entry to Europeans into Japan which meant their own culture thrived alongside the culture of Europe and it all really started from there I think.
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Old 2010-09-04, 19:25   Link #14
Kudryavka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoropa View Post
Forgive me if this thread already exists.

Let me give some context on myself. I was born and raised here in America as the son of immigrants. I have spent my entire educational life in the United States, in schools where I was the only one of my particular ethnic group. As in, I did not go to a specific school meant for children of immigrants, I went to a school meant for Americans. Yet despite this, I don't understand what constitutes American culture. This thread is for a discussion on that where you can ask, answer, and discuss this.

I'll begin with a question:
What do most Americans do for fun?

I have been curious for about five years, yet I have not figured out what people in this country do for fun, beyond the vague terms of "whatever I want." I have pinpointed that Americans like to party and enjoy alcohol, sex, and shopping. I also have determined that Americans like going to the movies, and certain groups enjoy video gaming, but a lot of groups enjoy television. I still feel like I know very little on this. It would be helpful to know.
If you've lived in America in your formative years, I'll be surprised if you're not Americanized, especially if you're the only one of your ethni in school (I've seen cases of culture retaining, but only with students who have tons of others of their ethni to hang out with, and even they are Americanized if you look past their permanent accents). To answer your question, what do you like to do for fun? You're American at heart, methinks.
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Old 2010-09-04, 19:44   Link #15
yoropa
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Originally Posted by Komari View Post
If you've lived in America in your formative years, I'll be surprised if you're not Americanized, especially if you're the only one of your ethni in school (I've seen cases of culture retaining, but only with students who have tons of others of their ethni to hang out with, and even they are Americanized if you look past their permanent accents). To answer your question, what do you like to do for fun? You're American at heart, methinks.
I like cooking (just made a delicious pasta) and asking questions like "What does it mean to be an American?" on internet forums. It's Saturday and I spent all day in my dorm room.

I don't drink, sex, party, shop, go to movies often, or watch sports (excluding fooball, non-American mind you, and ice hockey).

The most American thing I feel about myself is that I like certain sects of rap music (listening to Eminem right now actually), that and my knowledge of how the legislative body of our government works, as well as slang English terms and whatnot.

This is despite myself holding an American citizenship and nothing more.

I don't make a good example of an American I think, but I'd like to, which is why I asked the question, "What do Americans do for fun?"
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Old 2010-09-04, 19:57   Link #16
RadiantBeam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoropa View Post
I like cooking (just made a delicious pasta) and asking questions like "What does it mean to be an American?" on internet forums. It's Saturday and I spent all day in my dorm room.

I don't drink, sex, party, shop, go to movies often, or watch sports (excluding fooball, non-American mind you, and ice hockey).

The most American thing I feel about myself is that I like certain sects of rap music (listening to Eminem right now actually), that and my knowledge of how the legislative body of our government works, as well as slang English terms and whatnot.

This is despite myself holding an American citizenship and nothing more.

I don't make a good example of an American I think, but I'd like to, which is why I asked the question, "What do Americans do for fun?"
You know, by your definition, I'm technically not a proper American either. Really, why are you so worried about it? You're you, and you do what you like for fun. It doesn't matter if what you do for fun doesn't fit into the "American way" of having fun. I think you're putting too much thought into all of it, myself.
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Old 2010-09-04, 20:19   Link #17
Kudryavka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoropa View Post
I like cooking (just made a delicious pasta) and asking questions like "What does it mean to be an American?" on internet forums. It's Saturday and I spent all day in my dorm room.

I don't drink, sex, party, shop, go to movies often, or watch sports (excluding fooball, non-American mind you, and ice hockey).

The most American thing I feel about myself is that I like certain sects of rap music (listening to Eminem right now actually), that and my knowledge of how the legislative body of our government works, as well as slang English terms and whatnot.

This is despite myself holding an American citizenship and nothing more.

I don't make a good example of an American I think, but I'd like to, which is why I asked the question, "What do Americans do for fun?"
You're a naturalized citizen? Ok no way you're not culturally American, it takes so long to get that. Meh I can't just recite what Americans do for fun as Americsns; it's difficult to observe my own culture as a specimen, because to me, my culture is just me, just natural.
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Old 2010-09-04, 20:30   Link #18
Arbitres
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Yoropa, I like to cook myself - I almost completely remain exclusive to my love for Italian food (Pizza, lasagna, pasta (mroe specifically penne) etc)

I neither like partying, drinking, or obnoxiously loud places.

Quote:
This is despite myself holding an American citizenship and nothing more.
That seconds me then, because the most American thing I do is live on it's soil. I don't watch NASCAR or hang out with people, I very rarely go to festivals held near me and so on. I'm not active in the least.

I think it's just a title, not necessarily a way of living. And you have to remember America ia patchworked from different cultures as well as it's people being many different races.

The REAL Americans, I'm afraid, are dying out. Which is a sinful misdeed on our ancestors part.
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Old 2010-09-04, 20:37   Link #19
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Well I'm American.. But my blood is mostly Japanese since I was born in Japan, so I cannot give a real good view of what Americans find fun. (Completely useless in this thread )
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Old 2010-09-04, 20:43   Link #20
ChainLegacy
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Like I said already, yoropa, your extroverted peers are not a very good representative of America. Partying, sex, etc, is more accurately 'college culture' if you want to call it anything, and I hesitate to even do that. Yeah, those people are the loudest and most obvious about what they enjoy, which is probably why you keep bringing their lifestyle up. But looking only at those types of people is disingenuous if you really want to understand American culture.
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