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  • Alright, so do you think there is such a thing as an "American" culture? You know, we see

  • this sort of thing when you think of Japan or Korea or other countries, you can kind

  • of identify certain characteristics that you would say, "That's Korean", or "That's Japanese",

  • or "That's French". But when it comes to America, there's a lot of confusion on that topic.

  • Yeah, I think there's a distinctive American culture. But, we don't recognize it. I like

  • to tell my students, to use the analogy, "A fish in a fish bowl does not realize that

  • it is wet." It's surrounded by water. It doesn't recognize what "dry" is versus what "wet"

  • is. And so we don't recognize our accents. We don't recognize our culture as compared

  • to, maybe, something else, and... But, I do see what you mean. I know what you're driving

  • at. America has got a cornucopia of cultures kind of mixed together in the melting pot.

  • All of these things we are saying are good and true, but it still kind leaves with this

  • question, you know that...is there something that we could say is consistent? I've heard

  • it from people in other countries who say, you know, "Well America, I just can't figure

  • out, what is American culture? Is it hamburgers and hot dogs?" I kind of tried to tally up

  • a list of things. [Distinctively American things?] Yeah. [OK.] I mean, for example,

  • the way people dress in this country. If you compare us to the way a lot of people dress

  • on various occasions in Europe, people would say we're quite informal. I mean, wearing

  • blue jeans is like the primary pants of choice. Things like American football, which distinguishes

  • itself from what other people call "football" around the world, being soccer.

  • That's a big one, I think, [Yeah.] yes. We stick out like a sore thumb when it comes

  • to that. We have very little attention paid to adult soccer, whereas American football

  • there's a great deal of attention paid to that. [Enthusiasm, right.] Enthusiasm. I don't

  • think, more so than any other country in the world...You know, baseball is celebrated in

  • Japan even though it was invented in America. But, it's kind of like, the whole world was

  • watching soccer while everybody in America's watching the Super Bowl.

  • In other countries, people do things like negotiating prices when you go to a store.

  • Or, you know, you don't find that as commonly in America as you do in other countries. [This

  • is true.] Or, the culture of tipping, you know, [Yes.] in a restaurant. Things like

  • certain holidays: Memorial Day, and Halloween, being with its dress-up costumes, even though

  • that didn't originate in the United States, it has become sort of an American phenomenon.

  • And then, these holidays represent something distinctly American.

  • To sum up, I think American culture can be identified on our coin, the three expressions

  • that are found on the back of our coin. I'm borrowing this from Dennis Prager. I'm sure

  • you've heard this, too, right? "E Pluribus Unum", "In God We Trust", and the third one?

  • [Liberty.] Liberty! Right! Dennis Prager, I mean, he would probably make

  • a clear distinction between culture and values. He would say something like, "The values are

  • the things that are more permanent, relatively speaking, because they are the things that

  • define what Americans, in general, believe...or what it is to be an American, whereas culture

  • is always shifting. You know, tattoos as we noticed in the last decade or fifteen years,

  • I guess, you see more and more and more people wearing them on all parts of the body that

  • are exposed. And so, that would not be a value, but it would definitely be a cultural trend.

  • I agree. That's an important distinction, yeah. Values are something that's a bedrock,

  • foundational. Our values as Americans influence our culture.

  • But I don't think culture influences our values. I think it's the other way around.

Alright, so do you think there is such a thing as an "American" culture? You know, we see

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A2 初級

アメリカの文化とは? (What Is American Culture?)

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    sc に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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