I have always wondered if there is such a thing as American culture. Is there an American lifestyle? An American diet? An American pastime? Living in this country has taught me that there is definitely a distinct feeling to being American. However, it’s extremely hard to place my finger on exactly what makes up American culture.
There certainly seems to be an American stereotype. I feel like the standard American is perceived as obese, undereducated, arrogant and intolerant. We like barbecues, country music and football (not soccer). Right?
What makes things difficult is that the things that I think of as being distinctly American all have to do with a blend of many cultures. For instance, the blend of African American culture and the South created jazz music. From there, icons like Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley created rock and roll. Another example is American football, which was created as a combination of both English soccer and rugby. In the end, we seem to be incredibly good at blending cultures together to make something distinctly American.
I define American culture by the many other cultures that are continuously contributing to it. For instance, I believe that American culture is reinventing itself with the influx of immigrants from Latin America. We adopt new things, take on the best ideas no matter where they come from, and are happy to blend in with others (most of the time.) But what do you think?
The discussion I am hoping to spark is this: during your stay here, what have you found to be unique to American culture? How would you define the typical American?