There are some people who think we have lost our way in America because our whole culture has changed for the worse in the last decade, they seem to demand that all of American society put the brakes on culture and cling to a bright and happier past. The problem with that idea is that society cannot develop and grow further if culture itself is held in check by certain special groups. culture and society are always evolving, no matter how hard any of us try to hold onto what we know and like currently.
So let us first look at what culture is and go from there as we discuss or debate our culture.
Culture refers to all of our cumulative knowledge, beliefs, values, meanings, symbols, experiences, concept's of life, and also all of our discoveries and material creations.
Culture is also behavior, and gives us meaning on both an individual and group level, this helps us distinguish who and what we are and which group we may belong to, or feel more comfortable with. We are all programmed very early on to develop a cultural arraignment in our lives, that can continue to grow and change, if we are open to all the newest knowledge and experiences that going on around us.
Culture is transferred by visual and verbal methods that also change over a long or short period of time. If we only look at the written history of mankind, we can easily see that cultures changed as we humans gained more knowledge about ourselves and discovered many more new things as we populated the planet. With the expansion of humanity our cultural references expanded , and this expansion seems to have gotten faster each century as different cultures bumped into each other. And since humans are great at borrowing any good idea, and even working to change and develop that idea further, we have given culture the fuel to grow and to evolve.
But culture is not one big ball of stuff that every single person shares, culture has levels that creates differences within our society.
Culture has a national, a regional, a gender, a generational and a social class level which also creates the differences, and the diversity of a healthy and growing society.
American culture has grown and changed with each decade, as we gained new people from all over the world, we have gained more cultural meaning in our society. while these new people changed and assimilated into much of America society, that have also added new ideas, new symbols, new values, beliefs and meanings that America society has adopted. America changed these new citizens and they have changed America. That is why we have grown as a society and a country.
Society and culture cannot be put into a box and protected by the few, because the few are not representative of all of society or culture, we can keep the culture we want to keep on a personal basis, but we cannot define culture for everyone else, they also get to define what culture is for them.
The biggest problem I see in America is that we have, in many cases let the visual media define American culture, because the media has now taken on the job of creating culture each day, as they see fit at any given moment. Just look at the current cultural addition of the Pokemon Go game.
If we let the media define all of our culture then we have given them all the power to control all of our culture and thus control society at large. Perhaps it is time we lose that idea that the media is our cultural benefactor, and define culture ourselves on a more positive and personal level. I really do not need a money making entity to tell me what to eat, what to wear and how to live my life, Do you need that?
The very nature Of America is to discover and grow as a nation, we can all do that on a more positive level or we can create the ugly negativity that we constantly see from certain individuals and groups of fear mongers.