The United States culture involves various traditions and customs of Americans. It encompasses music, language, religion, food, what Americans believe is wrong or right, and how they treat foreigners among others. Both Native Americans and immigrants from different countries built this culture many years ago. As a result, America became the most culturally diverse nation in the world because many regions of the world influenced its culture. For instance, the culture of Asians, Latins, Natives, and Africans shaped the culture of the United States, making the country a melting pot in which various cultures contribute their unique beliefs, norms, and values. England also played a big role in this. It colonized the United States of America in 1600; thus, contributing its own distinct religious traditions to the country. Therefore, it is significant to discuss how ethnic literature played important role in forming, disrupting, and inventing the U.S culture. It is also important to acknowledge the role of ethnic literature because it included different aspects that built the culture that Americans experience currently.
Before the move to close the United States boundaries to refugees, several immigrants moved into the country. They came from different cultural backgrounds from various religions, norms, and beliefs. Because of various cultural and ethical backgrounds, they formed a new culture within the country. For instance, immigrants coped with unfamiliar people, mastered their language, and worked among strangers to become icons of musical performance. They established unique styles that set standards in the music industry. They also produced the expressionism of jazz music to many Americans. Their physical, dramatic, and emotional performance connected with film audiences creating a distinct genre of performance (Bailyn 15). According to the United States Census Bureau, iconic American singers of the nineteenth century such as Neil Diamond, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, and Eddie Fisher reported that these styles and expressionism of immigrants were some of the formative inspirations on their careers.
Children of immigrants also played significant roles in American performing arts. They discovered several scientific, culinary, and cultural endeavors among other realms of art. These children were not born with extraordinary abilities compared to others. However, they offered creative advantages to Americans by attracting high-risk pursuits and establishing innovation. Consequently, their openness to cultural and performing arts resulted in the development of scientific and entertainment industries; hence, fostering a focus on talent rather than pedigree (Cook 5). Additionally, children of immigrants from Russia discovered modern and ballet dance while in the United States. Their dances involved numerous moves and styles that attracted Americans to begin dancing in Hollywood films and shows. By adopting these styles and moves, Americans provided a new image of dance resulting in unique cultural forms that challenged initial traditions.
The American ethnic literature of on being white influenced the U.S culture. Although the United States had Irish, German, Italian, English, French, and Jewish communities, all Americans had a perception that these countries came to their country to become "white." They believed that no state was white before it came to the United State. Since it took America much time to become a white nation, the country denied the presence of black people and justified their suppression. As a result, they dictated individuals from other countries to become white by massacring black people, burning their houses, and raping their women. The ethical erosion enabled individuals who killed and raped black people to become white because it gave them moral authority publicly. Moreover, the whites referred black boys playing for American teams as a moneymaking scheme. Black people who were participating in different games were not paid because the U.S culture had no prices for black individuals within the country. For instance, the United States government increased shares of low-income individuals by a third (Coontz 12). It also decreased black family income by five percent while increasing that of the white family by a significant percentage; thus, making white people rich.
For many decades, the United States of America never created labor unions because it believed that black individuals had no power in father-to-son or mother-to-daughter unions. Therefore, the situation forced blacks to keep themselves black by not forming unions and electing their political representatives. By justifying this false identity, the American culture informed people that black children, women, and men in the country had no human integrity. The white convinced themselves that the life of black children meant nothing compared to the life of white children (Coontz, 11). Moreover, the whites did not allow the notion that all individuals are equal to torment them. They looked for cheap labor, bombed into a stable population, and cheered individuals to opt for safety.
In the 1920s, women played a big role in forming the U.S culture. Their roles, duties, and responsibilities varied considerably. During this period, the government gave women the right to vote; hence, creating many roles to both the older generations and new traditionalists. The new traditionalists involved young Flappers who established new ideas, opinions, fashions, and individual freedom that challenged the initial roles and responsibilities of women. Although housewife remained a traditional role of women, the majority of them undertook different roles during World War I, increasing the number of employed women by 30%. They worked in factories, operated telephones, and became salesclerks and secretaries. In the mid-1920s, the attitudes of Hollywood towards women increased the number of women joining universities and colleges by 15%. Besides, women contributed to forming the United States culture by performing jobs and difficult tasks that were meant for men initially (Cornis-Pope 15). Their determination, persistence, and hard work influenced the expectations of other women, their responsibilities, and roles in society leading to an increased number of women in industrial sectors. After obtaining various college degrees, some traditionalists performed certified jobs in offices while others started to drive taxis in a large town.
On the other hand, the Flappers of that era modernized and personified the clash of values and beliefs and changed women status of the new era. They scandalized the initial generations by listening to jazz music, bobbing hairstyles, applying cosmetics and make-up, and wearing short skirts. They also smoked and drunk publicly; hence, becoming sexually liberated. As a result, the independent and unconventional attitudes of these traditionalists affected traditional notions, ideas, and lifestyles leading to the formation of a new culture. For example, new women abandoned tight corsets and long dresses and worn short dresses to free themselves from the Victorian era (Cote and Charles 10). They cut their long hair into short hairstyles such as Marcel wave, Shingle bob, Dutch boy bob, and Eton Crop. Equally important, they did not tolerate bad husbands. They easily divorced their husbands leading to a significant increase in divorces in America. Contrarily, the establishment of labor-saving devices such as vacuum cleaners, electric irons, and washing machines provided women with much time for leisure. They utilized leisure time listening to radios, watching television channels, and taking photos.
Ethnic literature of the erasure and blackface of African-American history played an important role in developing the United States culture. Blackface was a practice in which white individuals darkened their skin to imitate black people. Although it involved a history as that of transatlantic slavery, it reflected a form of racist entertainment in America around 1820s. During minstrel shows, American performers pretended to be black individuals by engaging in bastardized dance and music to amuse the audience. Through blackface, they performed borrowed forms of dance to re-appropriate cultural customs and benefit from their audience. However, blackface never ceased in the United State; thus, becoming part of the culture.
Private and professional performers conducted blackface in colleges and university campuses during events and Halloween. They painted their skins with black shoe polish and burnt cork to mockingly represent the blacks as strange. They used awkward moves and exaggerated accents to ridicule black people. As a result, blackface became part of their culture of distinguishing write people from black ones (Dickstein, 18). The act drew a logic of biological racism. That is, it provided a vivid evidence that Africans were inferior to the whites regarding evolutionary hierarchy, justifying black people to be enslaved. By mimicking black people, their bastardized dance and music, and their ways of life, the whites developed a culture that viewed Africans as individuals who could not make a better living.
The emergence of different working-class cultures in the United States enhanced the invention of U.S culture. Popular working-class individuals created a range of cultures within the country. During the industrial revolution, Americans developed different cultures because of advanced technologies. These technologies enabled peasants to move from agricultural to industrial practices. They mobilized workforce and marketed cultural artifacts such as ornaments, prints, and drawings. Working-class people also declared working-class culture as socialist realism that aimed to glorify employees. In the 1880s, many ways of life emerged among American employees with certain modifications. Traditional working-class culture standardized cultural aspects regarding football, mass circulation newspapers, and types of betting, cinema, and music hall. A significant number of employees also became members of labor parties, trade unions, and co-operative societies.
Besides, the United States involved domestic and regional identities that were incorporated by shared political structures and history. Regardless of the cultural assimilation of 1907, they preferred local and regional richness. Therefore, the working-class people focused on their traditions of North Carolina, rooting in their folk culture. Similarly, individuals who inhabited local folk cultures involved small artisans, agriculturalists, tradesmen, and entrepreneurs who unionized against globalization to share similar values, beliefs, norms, and a common perspective (Farrell 5). They imposed a form of politics to improve their domestic and regional identities. Their distinct viewpoints, opinions, and commitment stemmed from the way various identities organized around neighborhood, family, schools, and churches. The values of working-class individuals were moral conservatism, solidarity on social mobility, respect for work, and communal designs over personal development. These priorities were evident because the majority of Americans stayed near their hometowns.
The ethnic literature of baseball history contributed to the invention of U.S culture in many ways. For many years, the Major League Baseball (MLB) became a fundamental aspect in the U.S culture. The league made millions of Americans to become baseball fans in their entire life. MLB was established in around 1903 during the era in which American was a superpower country (Hareven 11). It became a significant part of the country's identity. Although professional baseball began slowly in the country, it later rose and expanded af...
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