10 Key Values of the American Culture
Values are culturally defined standards that people use to decide what is desirable, good, and beautiful and that serve as broad guidelines for social living. There are 10 key values of the American culture: Equal Opportunity, Individual achievement and personal success, Material comfort, Activity and work, Practicality and efficiency, Progress, Science, Democracy and free enterprise, Freedom, and Racism and group superiority. (Macionis)
I would have to say that the value I embrace the most would be Freedom, Practicality/efficiency, and Equal Opportunity. It is hard for me to decide on exactly one. These are the three I agree with the most. Freedom because I believe we should be able to pursue our personal goals. Practicality/efficiency because in the world today you need to go to school for something that will help you in life. You aren’t going to get very far trying to chase a dream right now with the way the economy is. Lastly, Equal Opportunity because I believe that everyone should have the chance at something. If a woman wants to work in a factory as a welder then she should be allowed to. They shouldn’t deny her the job because she is a woman.
I would have to say the one value that I would reject is Racism/group superiority. The reason being is because it simply needs to stop. Just because someone is white or black, tall or short, male or female should not affect their rights to a job, schooling, or anything else in life.
Ethnocentrism occurs when negative value judgments are made about others based on differences between one’s own culture and a foreign culture. Say, you go over to France; they have different values than we do, and act like our culture/nation is more superior to theirs. This is an example of ethnocentrism. Excessive ethnocentrism can lead to discrimination and violence. Every nation is different but that doesn’t give anyone the right to act like their culture/nation is better than another’s.