American culture is something that is kind of hard to define. As an “outsider”, I think this is a good thing. It is easy to be impressed with other cultures such as Chinese, Japanese, and European cultures, just to name a few. These civilizations are so much older than American culture, it is to be expected that theirs may be more impressive to some, and there is nothing wrong with that. In referring to American culture, I realize that Native American culture is a large part of it, and that it is ancient as well, but for this paper, I am referring to American culture since the establishment of the United States of America as a nation.
What is interesting and I think unique about American culture is that it cannot really be defined; it is a combination of so many different cultures. Other countries have had immigration, of course, but no country has attracted people historically the way the United States has. The main reason for that has been the economic opportunities that have been available here. “The American Dream” was real, and it was something that people from all cultures wanted; and it is still real today.
Culture is only a part of what we are as people, of course, and even less of that is seen. The “Iceberg Model” of culture is something that is very intriguing and very accurate. This idea reminds us that only a small portion of our culture is actually visible (http://interculturalism.blogspot.com/2011/03/iceberg-model-of-culture.html). It gets its name from the fact that the vast majority of an iceberg is located underneath the surface, and that culture is much the same way. This is similar to how most of us express our feelings. We don’t normally share all of what we feel with others, unless those people are either very close to us or agree with us point by point. In the name of not hurting people’s feelings or being seen in a negative light, we opt to keep part of what we think or what we believe to ourselves. We treat our...
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