Popular American Culture Trends

Essay by jdean32A, November 2008

download word file, 5 pages 3.0

The American way of life revolves around popular culture or mass culture. The environment surrounding people will shape the lives and personalities of those individuals. Although culture is a part of everyone's life, it can be very difficult to strictly define due to such a variety of societal aspects. "Anthropologists define culture as everything that occurs in a society--all of the customs and practices handed down from generation to generation. These contributions usually come from formal institutions, such as churches, the government, and, increasingly, the media; mores, or standards of behavior; laws; and conventional practices and customs (Wilson, 2001). Culture could be defined in extremely vague terms as a way of life.

Culture represents all of the customs and practices handed down from generation to generation and many varieties of culture exist (Wilson, 2001). Each specific generation within America has their own culture due to their particular age group. The great age of the, "Baby Boomers," will differ from the previous generation as music preferences, clothing styles, beliefs, and goals will all be different.

Culture is a group of people's way of life and is impacted by what that particular group has idealized, moralized, and valued as well as the group's customary ways of thinking, social expectations, and even their community laws.

A very important part of any culture is the social structures within. Social structures are essentially the roles or positions that particular individuals or groups in a culture fall into. One example on a small scale is the social structure that exists within a family. Some people feel that a "typical" family consists of a mother who usually assumes the role as the caregiver, and a father who assumes the role of provider and protector. Although this structure can differ from one culture to another, this is an...