Although America always seems to get a bad rep about one thing or another, I do see some good, even in these harsh economic/political times. Here listed are the five things that I love about American culture. My views may be biased from a New Yorker viewpoint, but it is an opinioned-based question nonetheless.
I definitely feel one of the most highly noted traditions we have here are the fabulous array of literature from over the centuries. Having the freedom to express anything your heart desires is a practice that I wouldn’t be willing to ever give up. Even though American writers have had their share of struggles going through censorship and book-banning, the history and events surrounding literature are definitely one of the things that I love about my culture.
2- Scientific Advancements
Science never ceases to astound me, even ever since I was a young kid. I remember hearing about Dolly, the cloned sheep, and I was in awe of how the hell anyone could possibly do that. I think no matter how old/outdated cloning is, it will still amaze you. The ability to go to space, cures for diseases, even electricity, are amazing cultural advancements. I am both humbled and thankful of the human dedication it takes to discover/create these scientific advancements.
3- Art and Sculptures
Between paintings, photography and amazing sculptures such as Mount Rushmore; these beautiful works of art without a doubt represent American culture. Like literature, (and science, I suppose), art goes between a revolving door of being known as a controversial piece to later becoming a memorable piece. I believe art is one of the most important parts of what really defines a culture. Similarly to literature, art can shed a light on numerous perspectives on what a culture is like at any given time. One class I took at C. W. Post called Survey of English Literature, showed different artist renditions of nineteenth century culture. I always found paintings interesting when it came from a certain gender or race and interpreting what their life was like in that era. This country would be a very bland and quiet country if it wasn’t for art.
4- Gender Roles
Even though America still has that whole “glass ceiling” nonsense (the gap between male and female wages), I believe the changing gender roles are an amazing cultural ideal. Women are no longer expected to play the role as a housewife, and respectively men are no longer expected to be the breadwinner. The freedom to openly choose whatever you wish to do is a wonderful thing. Changing gender roles causes a more diverse culture and I believe makes people happy.
Not only can you get married to whoever you would like (granted, if you don’t have a subculture stating otherwise), you can also get married wherever you would like, no matter what religious background you have. Most notably, in my opinion, I am beyond joyful that marriage equality is finally rearing its head here. Citizens for same sex marriage are finally forthright with their desires to be treated as equals, and I’ll loudly stand right alongside them and fight for those rights. I feel in this day-and-age complete equal rights for GLBT should be moving along faster than it is.
Feel free to comment on anything, or share your thoughts on the subject! What do you think the top five attributes are in your culture?