Friday, May 5, 2017
Being bored is considered a virtue in my culture
I'm bored again but not for much longer, summer is almost here. In America we often associate Summer as a break period, vacations, freedom, it's part of our culture. When people think of "culture", around where I live, they think of every other country in the world except for our own. If I had a nickel for every time people have said "we don't have culture" I could bail out all the world powers and solve world hunger with just a little bit left over to pay off my inevitable student loans. Everyone has culture regardless of what people say. The world as we know it is filled with so many cultures they cause a culture shock to us and force some sense of ethnocentrism onto us, we despise our own culture and deem it non-existent. Not everyone does this, but many people don't think of America as a massively diverse cultural nation. America itself is filled with so many sub-cultures from material culture of churches, the way our houses look, the cars we drive, to non-material cultures such as holding a door open for a woman, common everyday gestures, and social practices. In the movie Lost Boys, it is shown how their cultural values of community and cooperation clash with American ideals of competition and independence. America contains so many cultures that we don't confine ourselves to have one distinct cultural identity. Each culture has their different practices, different beliefs, which make them unique. A folkway is an old practice that isn't quite relevant and shouldn't damage your reputation if not followed, we can see this in our commonly held practice to hold a door open for a woman, nobody will treat you terribly for it but we still do it just because it's a form of habit sometimes. Mores are the morals that sort of guide us, we don't want to break the more because it can have negative consequences to it, an example might be the act of jinxing an outcome by stating victory before it actually occurs. Taboos are the worst, the unspeakable acts, in our society it is seen as taboo to convey intimate levels of affection in public areas. I belong to a subculture of middle class American Catholics, my culture has raised me to respect others, work hard, and to have faith. Each culture is different, either by a little or a lot, but all remain equally precious and significant. In my sociology class we read excerpts from thrive, a sort of guide to thriving in America through a happier and healthier life style. Americans are very materialsistic, we value shiny new objects with a big price tag. I only realized through reading it that thrive explains materialism's cost. Having all the best stuff and worrying about money don't help us thrive, they drag us down. My own mother complains about what we can and can't afford, because of money we don't travel out of the states a lot. We as Americans need to be wiser with our money and ease the stress it causes us on a daily basis. America claims to value community and equality, but seems to fall short when it is no financially beneficial. American culture ought to be more equal and and communal and value less competition.