The American society poses as one of the most civilized societies in the 21st century. With its highly developed societal inclinations, it is a hard one to beat when it comes to the major shifts and wrangles that have overseen it grow from a humble background to a highly developed and sophisticated society. The culture of the people has also undergone a cultural metamorphosis; a fact that can be attested by a view of the social life of an American family. Even though this is majorly the case, there are still problems experienced in the society and whose mitigation procedures or actions define that particular society (Starbuck, 2010). This paper will develop a closer analysis of the American society, putting in range the ways in which its society integrates the five elements of culture and how it deals with these daily issues. Its exposition is as follows.
The American family has been one of the major social aspects of a people that have undergone a massive transformation since time immemorial. A greater and closer scrutiny of the American family reveals a widely contrasting family with regard to its seminal organizations in the past. The growth and changes have defined the family into a definite entity that is peculiar and unique from the known past. For instance, the American family has under seen major changes in the role of the father and the mother in the family’s conglomeration. In the past, the role of the father was entirely that of material provision and offer of security. There was no or little concern of the young ones at home. “Fathers were known not to indulge in household chores or even taking care of the baby at home,” (Eshleman & Bulcroft, 2010, p. 34). Their work was defined by their masculinity, which meant that they spent most of their time in the field handling highly masculine jobs.
The role of the American dad has undergone a change. There is increasing family concern by men, and more women are now seen to prefer to work while their husbands remain at home to take care of the children. This would have been a controversy and crises were it in the past. Men now embrace the idea of staying at home whole their wives go to work. The society has therefore changed and reappraised to accommodate such changes. The issue of same sex marriage has also beset the American family. There has been increased demand of same sex marriage among couples of same sex; lesbians and gay marriages (Sprott, Jenkins, & Doob, 2005). The demand has been quite influential, such that it had an influence on the poll elections of the United States in the election of the incumbent president. The American court therefore acknowledged the social cultural demand by legally recognizing the rights of the gay and lesbian people in the US. This would have been an abomination and an outcast law, were it in the past American laws. The dynamism of the society and the mechanisms put together to handle them show a clear link in the redefinition of societies with every passing time.
Issues of divorce have also been quite common in the American family. While in the present, divorce can still mean that the divorced parent can still have a chance to take part in the upbringing of the child, in the past that was not the case. Once one was divorced (which was a rare case), there was no familial affiliation whatsoever. The society has therefore changed to an extent that it can accord such type of leniency, something which proves the commitment to resolve its own internal wrangles without offsetting the system. Marriage in the American family is also legally accorded to one partner; monogamous marriage. This is the most practiced form of marriage in the American land (Pew Forum, 2008). While other types of marriage may pop here and there, the society prefers monogamous marriages, and in most cases where cheating is detected, divorce forms the final resolution.
The education system in the USA is also another element of culture that has been reappraised from the traditional view. The society faces some common problems whose mitigation as earlier pronounced dictate the nature of society. The American society experiences problems and issues of violence, segregation, and school voucher vs. school choice and single sex vs. coed schooling. These are some of the major day to day problems experienced by the American education system. For the recent past, the American schools have experienced major suicide attempts, mass killing and shooting by students (Sprott, Jenkins, & Doob, 2005). The most recognized incident was the 1990 shooting at the Colorado. This problem triggered chilling emotions and perhaps the question of the social emotional stability of the average student of the American child. Though researches have not conclusively found the major cause of the problem, prospects show that social stress, peer pressure and unattended children are the main causes of unrest among schooling children.
However the society has reconstructed itself by putting in place different mechanisms of counteracting these effects. There has been guidance and counselling given to students. More attention is now given to the child, both at home and school. Security checks on students have also been beefed up so as to ensure the safety of the children when they are in school. The society has also carried out major awareness campaigns to sensitize the communities of the need to pay attention to children needs and how to avoid stress. By doing this, the effects of violence in schools have been on the downward trend.
Another problem faced by the American education system is segregation, although this has been officially rubbed off by the famous Brown v. board in 1954. The type of segregation is the de facto segregation (DeLuca & Dayton, 2009). In this children are segregated by the type of community living in a particular region. School is normally attended by children from the region or neighbouring region, therefore if the surrounding community is of blacks or whites, then the school children would be one particular race. This results in a concentration of black or white children in particular schools. The American society has tried to solve this problem by building of city schools (DeLuca & Dayton, 2009). This city schools admit bright students from various backgrounds thus solving the problem of social segregation. As much as this has been the case, there have been problems of ensuring equal distribution of students. This is largely attributed to a number of factors. The number of bright students is also limited and not everyone can afford to send their children to such schools.
There is also another problem of single sex or co-ed schooling (DeLuca & Dayton, 2009). While some prefer single sex others belief a co-ed education system is the best as it develops the child holistically. Whichever the method adopted, the learners follow similar education curriculum. The society has therefore designed the choice of options so that each family can choose the best schooling for their children. School vouchers vs. school choice have also been seen to be problematic to the people. The society here, through the government has tried to give equal access to education to all the people (whether poor or rich) so that they can choose the best approach to follow and yet get the best (DeLuca & Dayton, 2009). While some critics downplay the voucher method that it is killing the public schools by depriving them of funds, the method is the most preferred when one wants the best even if funds strike a big problem.
The political climate of the American people is both a neutral ground and a hostile one. Hostile here meaning that, the advent with which every candidate must postulate before the electorate must be in a way that it tries to beat the other partner. One could equally say it is a democratic space, which is encompassed of political self-imposed jingoism (Eshleman & Bulcroft, 2010). The society has enacted laws and statutes that have overseen equal representation of the people, right from the local level. The democratic space of the American people is perhaps one of the best in the world where every person has the right to contest through their part of choice. Whether one is a republican or democrat, their choice of leadership is dependent on their approach. The populace therefore will vote their best to become their president or senator. This perhaps explains the crowning of a black president. It is confirmation of the political maturity of the American democratic space.
The religious affiliation and economic institutions also pose as another level of cultural inclination of the American society. American can literally be said to be one of the most religious nations in the world (Finke & Stark, (2005). This is as a result of a conglomeration of various religious backgrounds and affiliations in the land. The figure below shows the religious divisions of the american society.The society has perhaps adopted amore liberal sysyem whereby no member is forced to belong to a particular church or religious group.This has given Americans a free space of freer worship without any impediment (PFRPL, 2008).
The economic systems of the USA have also been reappraised to an extent that the people of the country are able to monitor the ecpnomy of the country.For instance, the recent economic recession in 2008 was a major setback for makor economies in Europe.Farming and indusrialisation have been stepped up in the US so that the countrty is stable.There have been efforts to harngess the economy to a 24 system in a fully fuctional platform.The infrastucture of the country and many trading activities have also been upgraded, with the agreements and partnership treaties with other nations.These have ensured that the American people are sufficiently covered and able to run their day to day errands.
The American community is an increasingly developing society whose dynamics dictate that there is no fixed outlook on its cultural status. The assertion developed in this essay, is thus a veneer representation of the real mechanisms that are employed by the people in resolving all their daily issues and problems. A major understanding may only be gauged if one lived and experienced the culture of the people. This is the only way to have a deeper and insightful grasp of the mantle of the situation. Despite this, the mitigation measures of issues encountered as discussed in this essay would define the society. It is therefore society that defines itself.
DeLuca, S., & Dayton, E. (2009). Switching social contexts: The effects of housing mobility and school choice programs on youth outcomes. Annual Review of Sociology, 35(1), 457–491.
Eshleman, J. R., & Bulcroft, R. A. (2010). The family (12th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Finke, R., & Stark, R. (2005). The churching of America: Winners and losers in our religious economy (2nd Ed.). New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. (2008). U.S. religious landscape survey. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.
Sprott, J. B., Jenkins, J. M., & Doob, A. N. (2005). The importance of school: Protecting at-risk youth from early offending. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 3(1), 59–77.
Starbuck, G. H. (2010). Families in context. Boulder, CO: Paradigm.