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What "personality" would give American culture?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by chewybaca67, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. chewybaca67

    chewybaca67

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    The thread on Cultural superiority got me thinking on this. Didn't want hi-jack that one. Anyway, one of my 3 degrees is in Anthropology. Back in the day, there was a school of thought that would label a personality on a specific culture. This reflected a sign of the times however and the incentive seemed to be to put Anglo American Patriarchal standarns above all else. Like I said, a sign of a different time. As an undergrad, one of my 2 majors was to study Americam Culture as a Native Anthropologist. I was primarily interested in studying what American Culture is. Not specific "fringe cultures" like with Black folks or Idnin' folks, but that loose ambiguous cloud that culturally connects the single mother Hopi woman in Second Mesa, AZ with the wealthy Jewish lawyer in Manhatten. There are 2 vastly different cultures, but still, there is something there that connects them?
    What would you say that is? I'm not setting anybody or anything up for any kind of ambush. I'm just curious as hell what y'all believe?
     
  2. bocephus549

    bocephus549 Bo Knows.......

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    Money hungry hypocrites.
     

  3. Carrys

    Carrys Inquisitive

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    For some reason, the term "useful idiots" comes to mind for a great many.

    The problem, or saving grace (depends on how one looks at it) is that there is no "one" term, group, or label that can be applied to all Americans. Some have given up, some are thinking about it, and some never will. One just has to figure out where their loyalties rest.

    Just my opinion.
     
  4. UtahIrishman

    UtahIrishman BLR

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    First thought that comes to mind is "The American Dream", whatever that is, connects them in a loose sort of way.
     
  5. Ol Timer

    Ol Timer ↓ hog hunter ↓ Millennium Member

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    A photo of an incredibly successful icon taking the time to honor the simple request of an ordinary man, without regard of indication to commonness around him.
     
  6. Von Hayes

    Von Hayes

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    They both want HALF!

    Gunnigoogoo!
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2010
  7. MainStreetIowa

    MainStreetIowa

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    "Your horse....your reigns."


    In a sentence, that's all I would say.

    If you fail in the USA, it's not because you're black, indian, Asian, hispanic, crippled, have ADHD, have a broken arm or a broken spirit.

    It's because you aren't doing the right thing at the right time.
     
  8. clipper100

    clipper100

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    For 235 years...

    Courage in Combat.
     
  9. chewybaca67

    chewybaca67

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    Any other opinions or experience? I'd like to hear from those who've spent some time in other countries. TYhat would be cool.
     
  10. actionpup

    actionpup Psycho Pup!

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    As with American politics, there are two Americas. In my view to lump Americans into one personality group is nearly impossible. While I can certainly see an ivory tower academic attempt, I think such falls short. I see the main two groups in this nation as rural and urban. Even that is shorting most. It seems to be the great divide in my humble opinion however.

    I see the personality of the "urbanites" as narcissistic. They seem to want to ignore the wants and needs of those unlike themselves and demand all see things from their perspective and live according to their own wants and needs; a monumental perspective of self-importance.

    I see the population of the "ruralites" as a bit healthier but perhaps more isolationists. They are looking to insulate themselves from the "urbanites" and hold fast to their heritage and traditions. They seem to want as much distance as possible between themselves and the "urbanites" and want to be left alone.

    I have lived in both settings. While I attempt to be objective, I am likely biased however as I prefer the rural life rather than urban life. For the record, I have lived in other nations as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  11. Chad Landry

    Chad Landry Cajunator® CLM

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    Of course you're setting us up for an ambush. You're an Injun. It's what y'all do. ;)
    I've spent plenty of time in other countries, and I continue to do so.

    The American personality is "Independent and free", which is something that I've yet to find anywhere else.

    Maybe I'm projecting my own personality, though, because when I go to other countries, I sometimes hear, "He's American. He's gonna do whatever he wants no matter what we say."

    But "Free Spirit" is the American personality. I think you Injuns fit right in with it, and I think a lot of it comes from your people.
     
  12. actionpup

    actionpup Psycho Pup!

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    Upon pondering this a bit more, if I think of the personality of America when we face a natural or externally-generated crisis, we have a more united personality. I would describe her at those times as perhaps a maverick personality.

    Sadly however, during times where such a crisis is not part of the picture (including the man-made / internal crisis that plagues us now), we suffer from a fractured personality and a single label simply doesn't work as I stated above.
     
  13. doktor doom

    doktor doom

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    "Independent and Free" fits it just about perfect. Many other societies, because they are more culturally homogenous, often tend toward groupthink and place an awful lot of emphasis on "fitting in." America was born of rebels, and filled with the misfits of the world, as well as its dreamers, romantics, adventurers and entrepreneurs. That's what sets it apart in the family of nations.
    Yeah, we have our underclass, and the gimme-gimmes, but people from all over the world are still busting their humps to get here, because they know that here they can be whatever they want to be, (with some luck, and a lot of hard work), and not be defined by their bloodline, or father's trade, or tribal affiliation, or religious minority status. And more importantly, they know that their KIDS won't be defined by those things.
     
  14. Isaiah1412

    Isaiah1412

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    America's culture is best defined by its lack of definition. For much of our history this has worked well for us, because it gave us the ability to adapt to crisis much more quickly than many other nations would have been able to. Innovation and progress didn't have to battle with traditions that were as deeply entrenched as the were anywhere else.

    Now I believe that same openness is beginning become a weakness. Without commonality of culture a people have no cohesion, nothing to bind them together during a struggle. We have become a house divided, I doubt we will be standing by the time I leave this earth.
     
  15. RonS

    RonS Millennium Member

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    On one level Americans act like we are all equal with no social classes. Not just equal, but all noblemen, entitled to run up debts, drink, fornicate and brawl and then when the chips are down rally 'round and kick *** for the flag.

    I would say that the defining personality is one of independence and a desire for personal space.

    In most cultures everyone knows their place and society makes sure they stay in it. Sometimes subtly, sometimes by stoning you, raping your daughter and burning your house. America still has a meritocracy attitude, despite recent efforts to stamp it out and replace it with a gimme attitude.
     
  16. snowbird

    snowbird

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    I agree.

    That single Hopi mother and wealthy NYC Jewish lawyer are likely both similar to Bob Dylan who said that all along he really yearned for the American Dream, the home of one's own, possibly with a white picket fence around a peaceful garden, and definitely a family that you love and that loves you.

    This is likely the dream in other lands too, although it is harder to achieve in places with despotic regimes/ideologies in power, or where they are waging 'holy' war to seize power.
     
  17. mitchshrader

    mitchshrader Deceased

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    The Land Of Opportunity.

    Ya'll tell me when that phrase applies to another country.
     
  18. JasonV

    JasonV

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    Young, confused, still trying to "find" itself.
     
  19. chewybaca67

    chewybaca67

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    Well, true enough, but not in this instant. Just returning to an old question I soaked myself in, to a certain and biased extent, while striving in the direction of objectivity a goal. One of the perspectives in anthropology is wiegh what people believe, with what they actually do and how/what they practice. Interesting answers nonetheless, and all quite meaningful too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  20. ldcarson

    ldcarson

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    ride cowboy ride...outside america we are looked at as cowboys in europe and africa, and most of the middleast. In Asia we are often considered a papertiger (windbag) with no real bite. except with the Japanese who like our culture (under 40). right now over most of the world we are looked upon with disgust because we can throw our weight around, which we have done. With the new administration there was thought that perhaps we would be more tame and ammenable to talk. Now were just considered weak to the point where some are smelling blood in the water...

    PS I've lived overseas most of my life from Russia to the middle east and have travelled/visited 130+ countries. I could write a book on this....