Mexican American Culture

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As I begin this essay comparing two separate cultures I feel it is necessary to first describe what exactly culture is. Culture has been called "the way of life for an entire society." It includes codes of manners, dress, language, religion, rituals, norms of behavior such as law and morality, and systems of belief.

Various definitions of culture reflect differing theories for understanding or criteria for evaluating human activity. Edward Burnett Tylor writing from the perspective of social anthropology in the UK in 1871 described culture in the following way: "Culture or civilization, taken in its wide ethnographic sense, is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society."

In the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) described culture as follows: "... culture should be regarded as the set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group, and that it encompasses, in addition to art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs".

A culture, then, is by definition at least, a set of cultural objects. These objects are what we are about to explore over the next several pages. In view today are the cultures of The United States, and Mexico. Being as how I find myself living on the brink of Mexican culture, I found it appropriate to compare my home country with Mexico. There is no denying the fact that American Culture has been affected by many cultures, and the same can be said of Mexico. We will look at a brief history of both cultures, followed by an in depth comparison of the two Countries.

The culture of Mexico reflects the complexity of Mexico's history through the blending of pre-Hispanic civilizations and the culture of Spain, imparted during Spain's 300-year colonization of Mexico. Influences from the United...
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