American Culture Examined Essay Research Paper AMERICAN
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American Culture Examined Essay, Research Paper AMERICAN CULTURE EXAMINED In order to understand this immense country that we call America, we need to study the culture. More specifically, we need to study the form of society in America. Is this society changing, or does it remain fixed throughout time? There are many aspects of our society, some of which are: traditions, values, and religion. The many realms of society contribute to a conglomerate culture, which cannot be described simply. The American culture is diverse and constantly evolving due to many various aspects of society, including, but not limited to, religion. It cannot be said that there is one American culture because there is no national language in America. Also, the lack of a single culture is displayed by the strong need for political correctness in America. Finally, it is evident that the culture in America has changed through the years due to changes in American religion. Since language is an essential part of culture, and America has no national language, then America is not tied together with one culture. There are reasons why the U.S. Government has not declared an official language. The most important being that an official language of English would promote xenophobia, making the English speaking afraid of new immigrants or vice versa. It would also deprive the American citizens who do not speak English of some of their basic rights. For example, how could someone vote, or take a driving test, if they do not know the language. On the other hand, immigrants would benefit if they were forced to learn a national language in America. They would be able to receive a better education, find a better job, and participate more completely in society (Gallegos, 1994). The fact that hundreds of thousands of children in America are being primarily educated in languages other than English, along with drivers’ license tests in America being administered in over twelve languages, should bring us to realize how ethnically and culturally diverse our country really is. The primary opponents of English as a national language are Hispanic politicians and lobbying organizations. These Hispanics are very resistant to the idea of America as a “melting pot”. They would prefer the idea of a “salad bowl” with all of the ingredients thrown together, but not melted, so that they retain their own distinctive traits (Gallegos, 1994). But what about the Hispanics who are being led by these organizations? It is hard to say whether or not they whole-heartedly agree with their leaders. Some may even think that resisting assimilation by maintaining the Spanish language is detrimental to America as a whole. In the nineteenth century, Alexis de Tocqueville said, “The tie of language is perhaps the strongest and the most durable that can unite mankind.” As long as there are many groups in America that disagree with this statement, there will not be an uniting language to bring America together under one culture (Gallegos, 1994). The lack of a single culture in America is also conveyed by the strong need for political correctness in this country. If America were not so culturally diverse, we would not have developed this method of politeness that has become increasingly popular. This is also an example of how much this country has changed. A few years ago, no one knew what the term “politically correct” meant. But as we approach the twenty-first century, it has invaded society like a plague. If we do not conform to this concept of political correctness, we are labeled as slanderous, almost to the point of being outcast by popular society. There seems to be a cultural war going on in America waging between the freedom of speech and the need for political correctness. When Charlton Heston told an audience that white pride was just as valid as black pride or red pride or anyone else’s pride, he was called a racist.