Looking for cultuar roots of americans

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TEACHER’S TRAINING COLLEGE OF NABEREZHNYE CHELNY   REPORT: LOOKING FOR CULTURAL ROOTS OF AMERICANS.   WRITTEN BY A STUDENT OF GROUP #002 VICTOR KOUZNETSOFF   NABEREZHNYE CHELNY 2002   The plan. 1. Introduction 2. First impressions while in the USA 3. Modern American is an ancestor of the frontiersman. 4. American paradoxes 5. Why do I like them anyway.   LOOKING FOR CULTURAL ROOTS. 1. introduction All societies must provide for the basic human needs of their members. These include food, clothing, shelter, family organization, social organization, government, security, belief system or religion, and education. How a society provides for these needs depends on the geography (climate), resources, and history of the society. Different cultural values

develop in different societies because of the variations in these factors and how the people view them. In order to understand why people behave as they do, it is necessary to look at their geographical location and the historical events that have shaped them as a group. Because the history of the USA is rather short (relatively to most of the world), some of these influences are fairly easy to understand.   2. First impressions while in the USA Some visitors to the USA remain permanently baffled [about America and Americans]. With despair  and accuracy they point out endless paradoxes in the typical American. Friendly on the surface, but hard to know intimately. Hospitable and generous socially, but hard-driving and competitive professionally. Self-satisfied, at times,

to the point of smugness but self-critical, at other times, to the point of masochism. And so on. They find the regional diversity of Americans confusing, too. What on earth, they ask, can a Maine lobsterman have in common with a Dallas banker, a West Virginia coal miner, a Hollywood producer, a Montana sheep-herder, or a black school-teacher on a South Carolina sea-island? And they give themselves a bleak and hopeless answer; not much. But that answer is almost certainly wrong; these people share the mysterious and powerful intangible called nationality. They are all Americans and, however faint, a common denominator is there, an almost invisible strand woven out of common history, a common heritage and, underneath the surface differences, a common way of looking at things.

  3. Modern American is an ancestor of the frontiersman. People never really escape from their origins. So, to understand an American you should focus for a moment not on the modern American, but on his ancestor, the 17th  century settler who, having survived the grim Atlantic crossing, found himself with his back to the sea facing a vast and hostile wilderness that had to be tamed and conquered if he was to survive. conquer it he and his descendants did, in a struggle so epic that its memory lingers on in countless Western movies. Many of the basic attitudes and characteristics formed in that struggle persist in Americans today. You may find some admirable, and others less so. The point is, they are. Everywhere he looked, that early American was surrounded by problems.

To this day, by tradition, by training – almost by instinct–  Americans are problem solvers and solution seekers. In some parts of the world, uncomfortable or unpleasant circumstances are endured because they have always been there and people see no alternative. To an American, a problem is not something to be accepted; it is something to be attacked. Adaptability, ingenuity, raw physical energy – these made up the frontiersman’s survival kit. To these qualities his descendants have added enormous confidence in their technology and a kind of invincible optimism. No matter what the obstacles, whether they set out to conquer polio or land a man on the moon, Americans are convinced that initiative, intelligent planning, and hard work will bring about the