A few weeks ago I asked my students to define what American Culture is to them…
Responsibly, they first said that they needed to define what Culture is exactly. So, here is a technical definition by a credible source.
The Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute describes “Culture” as…
Culture is a definition highly misunderstood and misused, thus the need for an explanation:
Culture refers to the following Ways of Life, including but not limited to:
- Language : the oldest human institution and the most sophisticated medium of expression.
- Arts & Sciences : the most advanced and refined forms of human expression.
- Thought : the ways in which people perceive, interpret, and understand the world around them.
- Spirituality : the value system transmitted through generations for the inner well-being of human beings, expressed through language and actions.
- Social activity : the shared pursuits within a cultural community, demonstrated in a variety of festivities and life-celebrating events.
- Interaction : the social aspects of human contact, including the give-and-take of socialization, negotiation, protocol, and conventions.
All of the above collectively define the meaning of Culture.
And this is how my students described it in class:
and then I asked again, “How then would you describe American Culture, especially since people say all to often that we, in America, don’t actually have a ‘culture’?” This was the beginning of their response:
While I think this is really well said, I hope that they can better describe their ideas by the end of the semester. 🙂