Conforming to Mass Culture in America

In: Social Issues

Submitted By long
Words 1527
Pages 7
Americans like to imagine themselves as unique individuals unlike anyone else and that we all possess specific characteristics that distinguish us from the pack. However, despite our illusions, the majority of human beings conform to some set of societal rules most of the time. We drive on the right side of the road; children attend school and adults work; these are examples of conformity for obvious reasons; society is based on rules that keep our society functioning, if there were no rules then our entire structure would break down. The question of this thesis is to investigate why individuals give in to less important reasons to conform. Why do a group of teenagers prefer to wear one brand of clothing over another, why do teenagers judge others for their choice of clothes, electronics, and hairstyles? Why do adults feel the need to live in certain areas over others, why do they find fulfillment in the type of car they drive?
For decades, advertisers have portrayed a happy and successful lifestyle by using images of consumption. We are told that to measure our success in life we must use status symbols of designer clothes, cars, jewelry and our choice of neighborhoods and homes. Americans have been seduced into the belief that without designer labels and expensive electronics, our lives are not complete and that we are not truly fulfilled. Through advertising, consumers are persuaded to base purchases not on need or want but as a way to show others that they are happy, healthy, and successful and to show their prestige.
People want others to acknowledge their prestige (Henslin 2010) and conformity is the tendency of an individual to change their thinking and behavior to the social norms to garner respect. The most apparent effect of conformity is shown in fashion and style. I wonder about whether the majority of our population likes the clothes they wear…...

Similar Documents

Gun Culture in America

...Behavior Consumer Possession on the Extended Self Write Up on Gun Culture in America. Introduction The culture of Gun use and ownership by private citizens date backs to the days of the founding fathers, with the bill of rights passage in 1791.The use and possession of guns and firearms has historically been rife with controversy. In 2008, with the Heller V District of Columbia case, the Supreme Court finally clarified the right for individual Americans to bear arms thereby settling century’s long debate on one of the most controversial issues in American history. The culture of Gun ownership and personal attachment individuals feel about guns and firearms is a very interesting dynamic. In the old confederacy (Now nicknamed Red States), according to Barack Obama in 2007,people in this region who feel left out of the modern day progressive society tend to cling to their guns and religions as to further find a sense of purpose and fulfillment. While this view point cannot be empirically proved, there is a level of validity in such a claim as historically known, those areas tend not to support any form of Gun Control. In the more liberal parts of the country, from New York City to the New England Colonies, the attitudes towards gun and firearms ownership is more subtle, there is no religious following however statistically the occurrence of gun crimes and other mass shootings is more prevalent in this part of america than in the old confederacy. Methodology The intent......

Words: 1055 - Pages: 5

Lgbt Culture in America

...LGBT Culture in America Table of Contents LGBT Culture………………………………………………………………………. 3 History……………………………………………………………………………….. 6 Current Events……………………………………………………………………….. 7 Influential LGBT People……………………………………………………………….. 8 Travel………………………………………………………………………………… 9 Tegan and Sara…………….. ………………………………………………………. 10 Gay Pride Events …………………………………………… ……………………… 11 Works Cited………………………………………………………………………… 12 LGBT Culture in America LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered/trans-sexual and these words define groups of people who are categorized by their sexual orientation except in the case of transgendered. Transgendered people are defined by their gender identity which is often different from their genetic gender. These groups of very different people have come together in a united front because they are all discriminated against in similar ways. So while LGBT people are not a culture in the traditional sense, their adversity brings them together in a special subgroup of society that can be found in just about every country worldwide. The American LGBT culture specifically is very rich, diverse, and active. To best understand this diverse group of people, it is best to examine each letter of LGBT separately. Beginning with lesbian culture, these people are categorized as women who are sexually attracted to other women. Within this group of women, there are very different expressions of their varying degrees of femininity. Some stereotypes......

Words: 1771 - Pages: 8

Different Cultures in America

...northeastern or America is densely populated, because of the extensive corridors of the urbanization it has been called the national “megalopolis”” as stated by Molly Doane in her statements at After years of acting as the leader for technology and the industry in America the Northeastern part of America falls off of being the leader to California’s Silicon Valley. Though it’s not towards the restaurants and businesses of the Italian, French, German, Russian, Muslims, Jews, and the English; “Huge waves of non-European immigration since the 1960s have made the United States the nation with the highest immigrant population in the world” also stated by Molly Doane in her statements at and so because of this today most of the cultures that are a part of America and its history would be the Italians, Jewish, and the English cultures. This is because before the revolutionary war people emigrated from Britain to America to the 13 colonies, then there were the Italians who immigrated to America because of the English population saying it is a land of the free and people would live better and richer than they already were. The Italians are most famous for creating the mafia and godfathers that people have heard or known about today. The Jewish have more history with America than the Italians. The Americans helped free the Jews and leads them to America so......

Words: 1895 - Pages: 8

America Deaf Culture

...America Deaf Culture After reading the book, Reading Between the Signs, I realized that there was a big difference between the America deaf culture and my culture. This book aimed at the audience who study sign language or sign language interpreters. It focused on the different aspects of culture instead of the language expression. Firstly, the author, Anna Mindess, describes the study of the culture. She cited the reference that Tylor said “ culture 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”. Then Anna selected topics in intercultural communication, such as the collectivism and individualism, high context and low context, and time orientation. Finally, she talked about the American deaf culture, which is my favorite part in the book. Now, I would like to describe the chapter of America deaf culture that I read from the book. This describes the perspectives of insiders who live in deaf culture and outsider who just study deaf culture. Anna discusses the development of deaf culture that deaf children attended to residential school and hard to communicate with hearing people in the past, while the recent developments of deaf culture are disappearing. The reason is that the deaf culture did not have some rules that deaf people have to live in the deaf culture and they wants to become rich or full people. So it means they have to become......

Words: 815 - Pages: 4

America Culture

...Male instructors seldom wear a tie and some may even wear blue jeans. Female instructors often wear slacks along with comfortable walking shoes. Greetings and farewells are usually short, informal and friendly. Students may greet each other with "hi", "how are you”? The farewell can be as brief as: "See you", "take it easy", or, "come by some time" (although they generally don't really mean it). Friendships are also casual, as Americans seem to easily develop and end friendships. As students from other countries,Studying in the United States of America can be a wonderful learning experience. Both in and out of the classroom you will learn and practice the English language. You may notice that these American values are, in some instances, quite different from your own. When you come to the US the reality of these differences will be more evident. You will likely experience culture "shock" as you learn to adjust to the new culture and way of living. This is very normal and requires both time and patience. LIANGLIANG CHEN...

Words: 376 - Pages: 2

Culture and the Mass Media in the Bahamian Society

...Culture and the Mass media in the Bahamian Society To me culture is the learnt characteristics of a particular group of people within a country and helps define it from any other country. Examples of Bahamian culture include our cuisine, music and arts, dress, social habits and dialect. The culture of the Bahamas, like any other country, can be influenced by many factors and one of these factors is the mass media. During our group discussion it was brought up that the Bahamian diet is influenced by other cultures, for example American and Chinese, and that the media does this through television and radio advertisements. Daily on all media outlets we can see and hear promotions for American fast food franchises like Wendy’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken; however, advertisements for Bahamian food establishments are very limited. I believe this may result in many young Bahamians becoming heavily influenced by foreign cultures and eventually not knowing how to prepare native cuisines, for example stew fish and pea soup and dumpling. In addition, our group discussed Bahamian music and art. When one hears the word “reggae” Jamaica instantly comes to mind; this shows how music can be related to a country. For the Bahamas, music like Junkanoo and rake&scrap are associated with the Bahamian culture, but we realized that these forms of Bahamian music are not predominating on various local radio stations. Furthermore, Junkanoo music is only played frequently during a certain time......

Words: 759 - Pages: 4

Rab a Product of Mass Culture

...RAB NE BANA DI JODI (A match made by God) Runtime: 164min 4secs Tagline: There is an extraordinary love story in every ordinary Jodi. Language: Hindi Written & Directed by: Aditya Chopra Dialogues by: Jaideep Sahni Hindi cinema has been a major point of reference for popular Indian culture. It has been an effective instrument for shaping and expressing popular Indian sentiment. Movies by Yash Raj studios, especially, have been the most widely distributed and well-received. Concepts of love, marriage, family, and a shallow look into a more meaningful existence, are those most frequently addressed by these films. Kitsch like this arises out of a failed attempt at art or simply because art has had to take a backseat to the more foreseeable advantages of a commercial undertaking like the movie to be analysed, ‘Rab ne bana di Jodi’. Synopsis Surinder Sahni (Shah Rukh Khan) works for Punjab Power and leads a simple life, until his simple life is turned around when he meets & instantly ends up in love with young & bubbly fun-loving Taani (Anushka Sharma) on the eve of her wedding. Tragedy strikes, however (predictably), and the unknown fiancé is killed en route in an accident. With the imminent death of her own father, as a result of the shock on hearing this devastating news, leaves Taani virtually numb to what’s going on around her because of which, when her father asks her to marry Suri, she doesn’t give it a second thought simply consenting to that promise, made by...

Words: 1552 - Pages: 7

America Has No Culture?

..."America has no culture"? Every country has a unique common heritage or joint experience. Therefore culture can be defined as the complex system of values, traits, morals shared by society. All the choices we make reveal something about our personality, surrounding and our upbringing influences these choices. The way we speak, dress, the food we eat, the music we listen to tells allot about us and how we came to be. Everywhere we look in America we can see different cultural signs. But does America realy have a culture? A variety of different arguments have been put forward about this issue. Some people think that America has no culture, while other say that America definitely have its own, unique cultur. In this essay I will consider arguments for my opinion, about this issue. I will provide one of the mosto people opinion and summarize everything. Most of people say that America's culture is a combination of every culture in it, on it's own and combined with other cultures to make something new, out of something old. They have a diverse culture because the people are from different states. This is one of the things that make Americans culture interesting because of the beauty diversification that their culture has that helps them in uniting as opposed to bringing division. American culture is a Western culture, largely based on British culture with influences from other parts of Europe, the Native American peoples, African Americans and to a lesser extent......

Words: 687 - Pages: 3

Effects of Mass Media on American Culture

...Effects of Mass Media on American Culture Have you ever imagined your life before you discovered things like Facebook and your cellular device? Many of us couldn’t fathom such a thing as much as most of us would hate to admit it we have created a dependency on the different forms of social media today. The past century gave birth to what is known as the electronic phase which then led to the informational phase and of course it began with the television. After the creation of the television a way was paved which led to computers, smart devices, and satellites and then there was the digital era or what we call the internet today. The internet has given a form of unforeseen power to an everyday person without the need to of a huge company to portray their views and opinions. Blogging has become more common and television stations or professional publishers no longer have complete control of the information that is given to the general society. Social networking makes keeping in touch with friends and family more convenient by allowing one to communicate with a few clicks and at the touch of a keyboard. These particular developments have influenced American culture tremendously. People became more independent after the print era was introduced and the dependency of teachers and old storytellers lessened allowing one to research and form an opinion based on the outpour of available information. Then there was the telegraph, which made communicating instant. Instead of......

Words: 668 - Pages: 3

Culture of America

...why she was the only one who would play with the black girl in her class. We tend to think of our parent’s time when it comes to racial discrimination; however even in today’s culture we can observe the lasting effects of slavery. I live in Bullitt County, which is only about 25 minutes south of Louisville, where the black population is extremely low and in 2009 there were reports of the KKK leaving fliers on doorsteps. With the election of Barack Obama a great deal of emphasis was placed on his race. Furthermore, do you think that anyone would have questioned his citizenship if he was white? The issue of his place of birth was a discriminatory ploy that fooled an alarming number of people. In addition, the institution of slavery led to the economic destruction of the old South. The pre-civil war southern economy focused primarily on the production of cotton, a decision that left them dependent on expansion for survival. With the decline of European demand for cotton and the widespread destruction of the South during the Civil War the south was left in ruins. The economic gap today between North and South today is still tremendous. Many of the poorest regions in the U.S. are in the South, in which people tend to stereotype citizens as “white trash.” On the other hand, we see a plague drug and gang culture in many black neighborhoods. As was pointed out several times in class, blacks remain the majority of the prison population, however they are only a minority of the......

Words: 882 - Pages: 4

Globalization, Mass Media and Culture

...Theory and Popular Culture Globalization, Mass Media and Culture Table of Contents Globalization, Mass Media and Culture 1 Table of Contents 2 Introduction 3 Modern culture, ideology 4 Globalization 5 Americanization 6 Mass Media and their Impact 7 Globalization, mass media and culture 8 Mass media and globalization 9 Globalization and culture 10 Conclusion 12 My opinion 13 Recommendations 14 List of references 15 Introduction A term globalization was used in 1983 for the first time in a history. Globalization as we know it today started at the beginning of the 20th century. It has an impact on everything and it has changed everything from its core. Economic environment, political environment and regarding to this subject – cultural environment. As everything, it brought both advantages and disadvantages. Looking back in time when this globalization started intensifies rapidly. It evokes a basic question: why did the globalization intensify rapidly? We can consider many reasons, for example lower travel cost, free movement of people, development of technologies, faster data exchange etc. These answers lead me to another possible answer - mass media. Globalization, Americanization or westernization are closely related to the popular culture. As stated in the book ‘There are two things we can say with some confidence about the United States and popular culture. First, as Andrew Ross (1989) has pointed out, ‘popular culture has......

Words: 4166 - Pages: 17

Cultures Struggle Through America

...Despite the cultural advancements of the United States, the definition of freedom overtime has changed so that marginalized groups are less oppressed. Fighting those limitations that where once holding people back, but were not defined by their limits. As creatures of change, we socially have expressed a way that the population proceeds on in their way of life. "...'culture' is undergoing a transformation that is already challenging many of our most basic assumptions about what constitutes human society.”, written by George Yudice on page 72. Explaining that the practice of any culture are very difficult, and are varied depending on the change that, that cultural group has under gone. We as a society have grown complacent with the way that the government leaders have chosen our paths for life out for us, with a select few that fight against these social barriers that we have been placed under. These cultural groups have in some shape and form made cracks in social bonds that once held them back. Racially as a part of the African American community, you are told tales of how as an evolving culture we have gone through trials. Those trials of their true citizenship to get the freedoms that we are granted today. As wrote by Kevin K. Gains on page 16, "...African-descended peoples' struggle for identity and inclusion...”. The darkened past of this nation having been created and kept afloat on the disregard and cruel intentions done to Africans. The spirit of those......

Words: 1465 - Pages: 6

Business Culture in America

...Business culture in America Americans take business very seriously. Professionalism and punctuality are expected. When doing business in America, expect a heavy reliance on facts and numbers. A scientific approach is the norm for all aspects of business, even the human relations department. When meeting business partners for the first time, American’s culture expect a handshake, not a hug. Address your business partner as "Mr." or "Ms." followed by the person's last name. He will generally invite you to call him by his first name. After the initial contact, communication similarities end. Americans prefer blunt speech. Tactfulness is seen as wasting time. Americans pride themselves on their egalitarian culture, and everyone is encouraged to speak up and disagree with a higher-ups. Passionate confrontation may take the more reserved Canadians aback. These confrontations, however, almost never stem from personal animosity, but rather from the business culture of the country. In America, management still is very individualistic. Managers are held personally accountable for decisions. They assume any consensus will dissolve as soon as an initiative hits rocky ground, so American managers are less willing to compromise and play politics. However, this approach can lead to resentment and confrontation if subordinates believe their voices are not being heard. Formal business dress: dark business suits and ties for men, and pants or skirts with a suit jacket for women. Beyond that,...

Words: 259 - Pages: 2

American Mass Culture

... The American mass culture was primarily dominated by movies, radio and television. As technology advanced we saw a decline in one of the above categories and an explosion in the other. As they replaced each other in the role of providing americans entertainment, each left behind a legacy that is important to the history of America. In the early 1940's radio was considered vital to the every day life of an American. The radio provided entertainment as well as news to the broad audience that listened. Due to the inexpensive nature of the radio, it quickly became a very popular and common thing for people to have and use. While the radio is commonly known for broadcasting news and music, it also broadcasted shows that resembled soap operas. This shows would go on everyday at a set time frame and would engage the listener and cause them to imagine the scene that was acted over the radio. Some of the more popular radio broadcasts such as Abbott and Costello eventually transitioned to the television when it went mainstream. (Cross and Szostak 263) For the government, the radio in the 1940's was an outlet for propaganda. Countless advertisements where broadcasted about the war. Since the radio had a good deal of the population listening, it allowed for government to make mass speeches to people and for those people to receive it in almost real time. Radio in prime had successfully grabbed the attention of the American Mass Culture and allowed for our culture to grow at a......

Words: 1489 - Pages: 6

The Effect of the Mass Media on Culture

...Mass Communication The Effect of the Mass Media on Bahamian Culture My definition of culture is the thing that defines a community, it sets the community apart from any other, it is the peoples way of life, their language, beliefs, the way they dress, the products the create etc.. The culture of a community is important because it shapes the community and the individuals within it. During the group discussion on the impact of the mass media on Bahamian culture all members agreed that the culture of the Bahamas is a very important aspect of life here in the Bahamas. However, the mass media has now not only just affected how we live our lives but it has also pushed us away from our culture. One member even went as far as to say certain aspects of our culture will probably become extinct if within the next 50 years if something is not done. During the discussion a number of cultural issues due to the mass media were brought up. One of the main issues mentioned was the way we dress. The way we dress is influenced by many cultures but what seems to have the most influence is the American culture. We seem to prefer to wear the type of clothing we see advertised on the television. Zephaniah Rolle, the only male member of the group hinted that our culture is one that has been affected by branding, “We also wear brands such as Nike instead of wearing traditional Bahamian dress.” Branding as we all know is a big deal in the media industry a large focus is put on advertising and as......

Words: 794 - Pages: 4

Generic (44331) | The Young Pope | Google Play Services