Dustin C. Nelson
May 1, 2011
Popular American Culture
The purpose of this assignment is to discuss what Popular America Culture is and how it affects my life. The first topic will cover what culture is and more specifically what popular culture is. Next the three major trends in Popular America culture will be covered and the influences of each of these major trends. Finally the last topic that this paper will cover how Popular American Culture affects personal decision making of myself and others. As mentioned before, to understand Popular American culture, we need to understand what culture is and how it is defined. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary culture is defined as, “the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations” ("culture," 2011). Culture is also defined by Merriam-Webster as, “the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; also: the characteristic features of everyday existence shared by people in a place or time” ("culture," 2011).
Popular culture is a more specific view of what culture is in that it is defined by different times and places. Pop culture as it is sometimes called, encompasses many different forms of the distinct practices, artifacts, institutions, customs, and values of the society that defines it ( Petracca & Sorapure, 2007). Better put, popular culture is the areas of culture that influence the way society interacts and operates in everyday life. There are three major trends that can be identified within American Popular Culture that influence the way Americans live, social trends, religious trends, and political trends ( Petracca & Sorapure, 2007). Social trends in society influence everything from the way that Americans communicate, i.e., social networks like Facebook, to being divided into...