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AMERICAN FAMILY VALUES

A. Introduction 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 will also learn much about American life and its sometimes confusing culture. As you prepare to come to the U.S., it may help to know something about the values that shape U.S. Americans' attitudes and behaviors. As you consider these values it is important to remember that: 1. U.S. society is made up of a diversity of ethnic groups and cultures that have helped shape American values; 2. Some individuals and groups have a set of respected values that are quite different from those of mainstream America; 3. People's attitudes and behavior are based on their values. You may notice that these American values are, in some instances, quite different from your own. When you come to the U.S. 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. B. Family Tradition Americans have many Customs and Traditions rooted in the cultures of our forefathers who were either Native Americans or who settled this great land after journeying long distances from other nations in search of "The American Dream". Very often the display of an object or symbol that is meaningful to a family or to society can become a Custom, Tradition or Ritual. Family Values are reflected in the Customs and Traditions practiced.

This is a different about Habit, Custom, Tradition and Ritual from Dictionary :

Habit: A behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance. An acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary.

Custom: A usage or practice common to many or to a particular place or class, or habitual with an individual. Long established practice considered as unwritten law. Repeated practice. The whole body of usages, practices, or conventions that regulate social life.

Tradition: An inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or social custom). The handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction. Cultural continuity in social attitudes, customs, and institutions. Characteristic manner, method, or style.

Ritual: The established form for a ceremony; the order of words prescribed for a religious ceremony. Ritual observance: system of rites, a ceremonial act or action or a customarily repeated often formal act or series of acts. From basic human rights to joyful holiday celebrations, American culture

is rich in tradition. Since the country gained its independence, it has worked diligently to define itself in the world. In 2010, America is defined by its longstanding traditions, cultural customs and family values. Here it is some of family values in America :

1. Independence

Ever since the Declaration of Independence was drafted in 1776, Americans have appreciated and respected their independence. In fact, AmericanHospitals.com explains it as the cornerstone of American values. It permeates every aspect of our society. Independence allows Americans to live the life they want to live, work in a career they choose, dress how they please and make their own decisions on religion. Independence is so prominent that American teenagers anxiously await their 18th birthday, when they finally become independent of their parents. 2. Individuality Along with independence lies the tradition of individuality. As each American makes his own decisions on what to wear, how to look and who to love, an extensive array of individualized personalities develop. Individuality is both an American tradition and an American family value. Just as we expect our friends and neighbors to accept us for who we are, we also expect our families to love us regardless of our individual choices. 3. Education Education is held near and dear to the hearts of Americans, who consider it the key to opportunity, including financial security, according to

AmericanHospitals.com. From the moment a child reaches the tender age of five or six, he is enrolled in school. He will continue through the educational system for at least the next 12 or 13 years, although many people choose to further their education after this point. With an extensive array of community colleges, universities and graduate programs across the country, Americans truly cherish formal education. Some of the most popular and deep-rooted American traditions can be seen on the holidays. The new year starts with Americans gathering with friends and families on December 31; they set New Years Resolutions and ring in the new year together. Valentines Day is celebrated by sending love notes, candies and flowers to the ones you love. In many American schools, children pass out 3

Valentines cards to each other. Easter is a Christian holiday, which many Americans celebrate by coloring and hiding hard-boiled eggs. The country celebrates its independence on July 4, when Americans gather for picnics, parades, friends and fireworks. On October 31, American children dress up in costumes and trick or treat around the neighborhood, hoping to gather candy for the Halloween holiday. In 1621, the Puritans hosted a feast for the Native Americans to thank them for their kindness. This act developed into an American tradition and Thanksgiving feasts are now served in most American families with a traditional menu of turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. The year ends with the celebration of Christmas on December 25. Traditionally, American families decorate a Christmas tree and their home with glittering lights and ornaments. On Christmas day, gifts are shared among friends and families. C. Principle and Values Parents teach their children about the Principles and Values of Free Individuals in a Free Society. Altough at times they may fail, they work tirelessly to be men and women of integrity, Self-discipline, Proactivity, Humility and Emphaty. They believe in the Principle of Human Freedom to ensure they sustain their families by living in Synch with the earth and our universe. As their children grow within family they formulate their principles, values and expectations of life. There are certain Natural Principles that have been built into our Founding Documents. From the World Book Dictionary, a Value is an established ideal of life, objects, customs, ways of acting, and the like, that the members of a given society regard as desirable. Again, from the World Book Dictionary, a Principle is a fundamental belief, a rule of action or conduct, a truth that is a foundation for other truths; fundamental, primary, or general truth. In simple terms, Values are the
building blocks of Principles, while Principles show how Values are related to each other. Examples of Values might be: 1. Life, 2. Liberty and 3. the Pursuit of Happiness.

An example of a Principle might be: Human Beings have an inherent right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. The line is thin here, and not all would agree with these definitions.

You may notice that these American values are, in some instances, quite different from your own. When you come to the U.S. 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. 1. Some Major U.S. American Values Individuality: U.S. Americans are encouraged at an early age to be independent and to develop their own goals in life. They are encouraged to not depend (too much) on others including their friends, teachers and parents. They are rewarded when they try harder to reach their goals. Privacy: U.S. Americans like their privacy and enjoy spending time alone. Foreign visitors will find U.S. American homes and offices open, but what is inside the American mind is considered to be private. To ask the question "What is on your mind?" may be considered by some to be intrusive. Equality: U.S. Americans uphold the ideal that everyone "is created equal" and has the same rights. This includes women as well as men of all ethnic and cultural groups living in the U.S. There are even laws that protect this "right to equality" in its various forms. The general lack of deference to people in authority is one example of equality. Titles, such as "sir" and "madam" are seldom used. Managers, directors, presidents and even university instructors are often addressed by their first or given name. Time: U.S. Americans take pride in making the best use of their time. In the business world, "time is money". Being "on time" for class, an appointment, or for dinner with your host family is important. U.S. Americans apologize if they are late. Some instructors give demerits to 5

students who are late to class, and students at most universities have institutional permission to leave the classroom if their instructor is 10 or 15 minutes late. Informality: The U.S. American lifestyle is generally casual. You will see students going to class in shorts and t-shirts. 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"? and "what's up"? 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. Achievement & Hard Work/Play: The foreign visitor is often impressed at how achievement oriented Americans are and how hard they both work and play. A competitive spirit is often the motivating factor to work harder. Americans often compete with themselves as well as others. They feel good when they "beat their own record" in an athletic event or other types of competition. Americans seem to always be "on the go", because sitting quietly doing nothing seems like a waste of time. Direct & Assertive: U.S. Americans try to work out their differences faceto-face and without a mediator. They are encouraged to speak up and give their opinions. Students are often invited to challenge or disagree with certain points in the lecture. This manner of direct speaking is often interpreted by foreign visitors as rude. Looking to the Future and to Change: Children are often asked what they want to be "when they grow up"; college students are asked what they will do when they graduate; and professors plan what they will do when they retire. Change is often equated with progress and holding on to traditions seems to imply old and outdated ways. Even though Americans are recycling more than

before many purchased products are designed to have a short life and then be thrown away. American culture has been enriched by the values and belief systems of virtually every part of the world. Consequently, it is impossible to be comprehensive. Nevertheless, a few selected values are at the core of the American value system. Individual Freedom The one value that nearly every American would agree upon is individual freedom. Whether you call it individual freedom, individualism, or independence, it is the cornerstone of American values. It permeates every aspect of our society. The concept of an individual's having control over his/her own destiny influenced the type of government that was established here, and individual rights are guaranteed in the United States Constitution (the supreme law of the land). These rights are so protected in their judicial system that, even though Americans may complain that criminals sometimes "get away with murder," most people believe it is better to free a few guilty persons than to imprison one person who is innocent. While their economic system may be dominated by large corporations, the majority of American businesses are small, and many are owned by an individual or a family. It is part of the "American dream" to "be your own boss," and being an entrepreneur is one of the most appealing ways to improve one's economic future. Choice in Education Education is often regarded as the key to opportunity, including financial security. Americans take a pragmatic approach to learning, so what one learns outside the classroom through internships, extracurricular activities and the like is often considered as important as what is learned in the classroom. Consequently, 7

lifelong learning is valued which results in many adult and continuing education programs. Americans have many choices. In school they decide their major field of study, perhaps with or without their parents' influence, and students even get to select some of their courses. These "elective" courses often confuse foreign students who may expect a more rigid curriculum. The belief that Americans should "be all that you can be" emanates from our Protestant heritage. Since the majority of the early settlers were Protestant, they believed that they had a responsibility to improve themselves, to be the best they could be, to develop their talents, and to help their neighbors. These convictions have not only influenced our educational system, but are often reflected in U.S. foreign policy. What some might consider meddling in other people's affairs, others believe is fulfilling a moral obligation. The Family Another aspect of American society that may bewilder non-Americans is the family. The nuclear family structure (parents and children) is so alien to most cultures in the world that it is often misunderstood. The main purpose of the American family is to bring about the happiness of each individual family member. The traditional family values include love and respect for parents, as well as for all members of the family. However, the emphasis on the individual and his/her right to happiness can be confusing. It allows children to disagree, even argue with their parents. While in most other cultures such action would be a sign of disrespect and a lack of love, that is not the case in the United States. It is simply a part of developing one's independence. Many foreign students and visitors are welcomed by host families, who invite them into their homes for dinner or to join in family activities. Frequently

visitors are told to "make themselves at home" and, at times, may appear to be "left alone." It certainly is nice to be treated as an honored guest in someone's home, but one of the highest compliments that an American can give foreign guests is to treat them like members of the family, which means to give them the "freedom of the house" to do what they want, to "raid the refrigerator" on their own, or to have some quiet time alone. Privacy

Privacy is also important to Americans. The notion of individual privacy may make it difficult to make friends. Because Americans respect one's privacy, they may not go much beyond a friendly "hello." Ironically, it is usually the foreigner who must be more assertive if a friendship is to develop. D. Making Friend For the newcomer, America can be a lonely place at first. This is partly due to the career-driven and transitory nature of our society. One's career may force one's family to move many times to many different locales. Unlike more traditional cultures with strong extended family and long-term relationships, friendships are made and lost readily here. Some might find Americans superficial and even selfish. However, it is possible to make close friendships - it is just more difficult, depending on where you live. Social relationships in the U.S., by and large, revolve around one's career and hobbies, one's religion and one's cultural background. In the large cities and towns there are many opportunities to get involved in social and cultural activities, with a multitude of hobbyist clubs and associations catering to almost every interest: travelling, cooking, writing, dining out, sailing and watersports, etc. If you love to read books or watch films, for example, there are a number of clubs in large cities catering to these interests. If you like nature, you can join hiking clubs or environmental organizations. 9

Good ways to meet Americans include sports and athletic clubs, i.e. tennis clubs, children's sports like Little League, joining the PTA at your children's school or volunteering at your children's school or church. Learn the basic rules of these games. Learning a sport like golf, tennis or even frisbee can be an excellent way to meet friends and strengthen relationships with business colleagues and clients. Off-Color Humor: Some Americans like to poke fun, but most of the time it is meant to be in good humor. Many Americans do not understand when they are being racist. In fact, more Americans than ever are sensitive to cultural diversity. However, if racist comments are persistent, it would be better to find a new friend. Children and Social Isolation: Your child will greatly benefit by joining a school or community team. Take care to make sure your children aren't suffering from social isolation by organizing parties or events they can attend after school. in a new culture, children can be the greatest victims. Professional associations in your line of work will help you network and socialize. Toastmasters International, a public speaking organization, can help you hone your public speaking skills (very important) and meet others. Americans are curious about many things and may ask you many questions. You may be the first foreign national of particular country whom they have met and they probably have little understanding of life in your country. Most American are sincerely interested in learning more about you and your culture. It is sometimes difficult for international students to understand how Americans form and maintain friendships. In this fast passed society, friendships may be transitory and are often established to meet personal needs in particular situation. Americans have many interests and engage in a variety of activities so the warmth expressed in one meeting, while genuine and sincere and may be confined to that occasion. Close friendships are the result of repeated interactions between individuals as they identify similarities in a point of view and share a variety of 10

experiences. It is possible that some American family customs will brother you because they are very different from your own.

Steps to making friends in America :

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

Spend more time around people. Join an organization or club with people who have common interests. Join a sports team. Volunteer. Talk to people. Make eye contact and smile. Start a conversation. Make small talk. Introduce yourself at the end of the conversation. Initiate a get-together. If you've discovered that the person you're talking to has a common interest, ask him or her more about it and, if appropriate, whether they get together with others (in a club, for example) to pursue this interest.

12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24.

Ask them out for lunch or coffee. Don't do anything to pressure someone into being friends with you. Be loyal to a friend. Be a good friend. Be reliable. Be a good listener. Be trustworthy. Choose your friends wisely. Put emphasis on the good, unique qualities about yourself. Encourage your friend: Get a job, Many people meet and socialize that way. Be Confident. Don't separate your friend from the rest of the group.

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E. American Culture in Sexual Chaos Truth, at least sometimes, is sighted in the juxtapositions. So it seemed last week when the ongoing saga of Pastor Ken Hutcherson's efforts to lobby Microsoft against civil rights for gay and lesbian people bumped up against the sad story of Spokane Mayor James West. West admitted using the powers of his office to solicit sex, sex with men, via the Internet. He has also been accused of misusing his powers and position as a scoutmaster to sexually abuse boys in his charge. The juxtaposition of those two stories points to this truth: The preoccupation with homosexuality begs the question. The question is not whether gay and lesbian people should be protected against discrimination (they should). The real, and the better question, is about the sexual chaos of this culture. The urgent question is whether we can practice a level of sexual morality and restraint that protects the most vulnerable among us? And what would it take to make progress in that direction? In other words, the issue that ought to be of concern is not homosexuality. It is sexuality and the sexual chaos of this culture. It is the issue of sexual morality and practice in our culture as a whole. The continuing preoccupation with homosexuality and the targeting of gay and lesbian people misses the mark and distorts our real challenge. What are the signs of sexual chaos? What are the indications that we are failing at a task every society must face, namely the ordering of sexual expression? The end of nearly half of all marriages in this country in divorce, as well as the number of children born outside marriage, are two of the most important. Both have huge and disastrous impacts on children. Beyond that there is the continuing toll of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. There is the staggering number of a million and a half abortions a year. There is the scandal of the sexual abuse of children by priests and other people in authority. And then there is the Internet and its massive trade in pornography, which both plays upon and feeds loneliness, as well as destructive and addictive behaviors. Surveying the sexual chaos of contemporary America, a psychologist and evangelical and feminist Christian, Mary Stewart Van Leewen, concludes, 12

"Clearly, most of this sexual chaos cannot be blamed on self-identified gays. If anything, the main culprits are adult heterosexual males." Van Leewen points out that most teenage pregnancies result not from teenage girls having sex with teenage boys but, rather, with adult males. Moreover, "adult heterosexual males are also responsible for most cases of sexual abuse, including rape, incest, and child molestation." "The moral in all this," concludes Van Leewen, "is that the heterosexual majority in church and society -- and particularly its male leaders -- are in no position to hold self-identified gays to a higher standard of sexual conduct than they are willing to insist on for members of their own group." I suppose that some may insist upon finding, in the tragic story of West, confirmation of their suspicions of people who are gay. "See," they may say, "this is what gays do." Prior to last week, West, who campaigned against civil rights of gays, would have agreed. That's the wrong conclusion. The right conclusion is, "This is what disordered and abusive sexuality look like." Indeed, if gay and lesbian people are protected against discrimination and their committed partnerships legitimated, it will strengthen the move toward sexual order and restraint. Why is sexual order and restraint important? Is such a concern merely a holdover from Victorian morality or Puritanical repression? Haven't we moved beyond all that? Is sexuality bad? No, sexuality is not bad, nor contrary to popular misconception was sex the problem in the Garden of Eden. Sex is one of God's created goods, but like all good things, it can be misused. AsFrederick Buechner observed, "Sex is like nitro-glycerin, it can be used either to blow up bridges or heal hearts." Biblical teaching about sex encourages restraint not because sex is bad (read the Song of Songs if you don't believe me), but because of God's concern for the vulnerable: for children, for the poor and for the weak. Youth Pastor Tim Stafford observes, "Sexual chaos hurts everybody, but most of all it hurts the poor and the weak. In the midst of chaos the young, beautiful and rich (whether straight or gay) will seem to thrive, at least for a time. Vulnerable people -- particularly children, women and poor people -- will suffer." There's the problem, and the reason, for recovering a capacity for sexual restraint. Stop 13

targeting gay and lesbian people and focus on the real problem, our problem.A society is a group of human beings distinguishable from other groups by mutual interests,characteristics relationship,shared institutions and a common culture.

Courtship, cohabitation, and adolescent sexuality

Couples often meet through religious institutions, work, school, or friends. "Dating services," services that are geared to assist people in finding partners, are popular both on and offline. The trend over the past few decades has been for more and more couples deciding to cohabit before, or instead of, getting married. The 2000 Census reported 9.7 million different-sex partners living together and about 1.3 million same-sex partners living together. Some states now have domestic partner statutes and judge-made palimony doctrines that confer some legal support for unmarried couples. Adolescent sex is common; in 2010 most Americans first had intercourse in their late teens.While few teens have had sex at age 15, by age 18 slightly more than half of females and nearly two-thirds of males have had intercourse.More than half of sexually active teens have had sexual partners they were dating.Risky sexual behaviors that involve "anything intercourse related" are "rampant" among teenagers.Teen pregnancies in the United States decreased 28% between 1990 and 2000 from 117 pregnancies per every 1,000 teens to 84 per 1,000.The U.S. is rated, based on 2002 numbers, 84 out of 170 countries based on teenage fertility rate, according to the World Health Organization. In 2006, approximately one out of every four sexually active person 15 24, contracted a sexually transmitted infection, particularlypappilomavirus, Trichomoniasis, and chlamydia.

Marriage and divorce Marriage laws are established by individual states. Same-sex marriage is currently legal in Massachusetts, Maryland,Washington, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Washington D.C.. New Jersey, California, Oregon, 14

New York and Nevada allow same-sex couples access to most state-level marriage benefits with civil unions or domestic partnerships; Hawaii, Illinois, Wisconsin and Coloradooffer some benefits to couples in domestic partnerships. The typical wedding involves a couple proclaiming their commitment to one another in front of their close relatives and friends, often presided over by a religious figure such as a minister, priest, or rabbi, depending upon the faith of the couple. In traditional Christian ceremonies, the bride's father will "give away" (hand off) the bride to the groom. Secular weddings are also common, often presided over by a judge, Justice of the Peace, or other municipal official. Divorce is the province of state governments, so divorce law varies from state to state. Prior to the 1970s, divorcing spouses had to allege that the other spouse was guilty of a crime or sin like abandonment or adultery; when spouses simply could not get along, lawyers were forced to manufacture "uncontested" divorces. The no-fault divorce revolution began in 1969 in California; South Dakota was the last state to allow no-fault divorce, in 1985. No-fault divorce on the grounds of "irreconcilable differences" is now available in all states. However, many states have recently required separation periods prior to a formal divorce decree. State law provides for child support where children are involved, and sometimes for alimony. "Married adults now divorce two-and-a-half times as often as adults did 20 years ago and four times as often as they did 50 years ago... between 40% and 60% of new marriages will eventually end in divorce. The probability within... the first five years is 20%, and the probability of its ending within the first 10 years is 33%... Perhaps 25% of children ages 16 and under live with a stepparent."The median length for a marriage in the U.S. today is 11 years with 90% of all divorces being settled out of court.

Gender roles Since the 1970s, traditional gender roles of male and female have been increasingly challenged by both legal and social means. Today, there are far fewer roles that are legally restricted by one's sex. The military remains a notable exception, where women may not be put into direct combat by law. 15

Most social roles are not gender-restricted by law, though there are still cultural inhibitions surrounding certain roles. More and more women have entered the workplace, and in the year 2000 made up 46.6% of the labor force, up from 18.3% in 1900. Most men, however, have not taken up the traditional fulltime homemaker role; likewise, few men have taken traditionally feminine jobs such as receptionist or nurse (although nursing was traditionally a male role bef) F. Society The casual meaning of society simply refers to a group of people living together in ordered community. The social sciences use the term society to mean a group of people that form a semi-closed (or semi-open) social system, in which most interactions are with other individuals belonging to the group. More abstractly, a society is defined as a network of relationships between entities. A society is also sometimes defined as an interdependen community. The origon of word society comes from the latin societas, a friendly association with other. Societas is derived from socius meaning companion and thus the meaning of society is closely related to what is social. Implisit in the meaning of society is dead is that its members share some mutual concern or interest in a common objective. As such, society is often used as synonymous wuth the collectives citizenry of a country directed through national institutions concerned with civic welfare. In the sociology, society is a self-perpetuating grouping of individuals occupying a particular territory, which may have its own distinctive culture and institutions. The term is most commonly used to describe human societies, although it may be used to describe animal societies. The social sciences generally use the term society to mean a group of people that form a semi-closed social system, in which most interactions are with other individuals belonging to the group. More abstractly, a society is defined as a network of relationships between social entities. A society is also sometimes defined as an interdependent community.

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Though most Americans today identify themselves as middle class, American society and its culture are considerably fragmented. Social class, generally described as a combination of educational attainment, income and occupational prestige, is one of the greatest cultural influences in America.[1] Nearly all cultural aspects of mundane interactions and consumer behavior in the U.S. are guided by a person's location within the country's social structure. Distinct lifestyles, consumption patterns and values are associated with different classes. Early sociologist-economist Thorstein Veblen, for example, noted that those at the very top of the social ladder engage in conspicuous leisure as well as conspicuous consumption. Upper middle class persons commonly identify education and being cultured as prime values. Persons in this particular social class tend to speak in a more direct manner that projects authority, knowledge and thus credibility. They often tend to engage in the consumption of so-called mass luxuries, such as designer label clothing. A strong preference for natural materials and organic foods as well as a strong health consciousness tend to be prominent features of the upper middle class. Middle class individuals in general value expanding one's horizon, partially because they are more educated and can afford greater leisure and travels. Working class individuals take great pride in doing what they consider to be "real work," and keep very close-knit kin networks that serve as a safeguard against frequent economic instability. Working class Americans as well as many of those in the middle class may also face occupation alienation. In contrast to upper middle class professionals who are mostly hired to conceptualize, supervise and share their thoughts, many Americans have little autonomy or creative latitude in the workplace. As a result white collar professionals tend to be significantly more satisfied with their work. More recently those in the center of the income strata, who may still identify as middle class, have faced increasing economic insecurity, supporting the idea of a working class majority. Political behavior is affected by class; more affluent individuals are more likely to vote, and education and income affect whether individuals tend to vote for the Democratic or Republican party. Income also had a significant impact on health as 17

those with higher incomes had better access to health care facilities, higher life expectancy, lower infant mortality rate and increased health consciousness. This is particularly noticeable with black voters who are often socially conservative, yet overwhelmingly vote Democratic. In the United States occupation is one of the prime factors of social class and is closely linked to an individuals identity. The average work week in the U.S. for those employed full-time was 42.9 hours long with 30% of the population working more than 40 hours a week. The Average American worker earned $16.64 an hour in the first two quarters of 2006. Overall Americans worked more than their counterparts in other developed post-industrial nations. While the average worker in Denmark enjoyed 30 days of vacation annually, the average American had 16 annual vacation days. In 2000 the average American worked 1,978 hours per year, 500 hours more than the average German, yet 100 hours less than the average Czech. Overall the U.S. labor force was the most productive in the world (overall, not by hour worked), largely due to its workers working more than those in any other post-industrial country (excluding South Korea). Americans generally hold working and being productive in high regard; being busy as and working extensively may also serve as the means to obtain esteem. G. Subsistence Human societies are often organized according to their primary means of subsistence. Social scientists identify hunter-gatherer societies, nomadic pastoral societies, horticulturalist or simple farming societies, and intensive agricultural societies, also called civilizations. Some consider industrial and postindustrial societies to be qualitatively different from traditional agricultural societies. One common theme for societies in general is that they serve to aid individuals in a time of crisis. Traditionally, when an individual requires aid, for example at birth, death, sickness, or disaster, members of that society will rally others to render aid, in some form symbolic, linguistic, physical, mental, emotional, financial, medical and religious.

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H. Shared-belief People of many nations united by common political and cultural traditions, belief, or values are sometimes also said to be a society ( for example: judechristian, Eastern, Western, etc). when used in this context, the term is being used as means of contrasting two or more societies whose representative members represent alternative and competing worldviews. What are the basic american values and beliefs ? Sociologist Robin Williams attempted to offer a list of basic values in the United States: Achievement, efficiency, material comfort, nationalism, equality and the supremacy of science and reason, over faith. There are certain ideals and values, rooted in the countrys history, which many Americans share. These are: 1. Freedom Americans commonly regard their society as the freest and best in the world. Americans understanding of freedom is shaped by the Founding Fathers belief that all people are equal and that the role of the government is to protect each persons basic inalienable rights. The U.S. Constitutions Bill of Rights assures individual rights, including provisions for freedom of speech, press and religion. No one single church dominates or controls in the US, there is a religious diversity. 2. Individualism Americans nation of freedom focuses on the individual, and individualism has strong philosophical roots in America. Thomas Jefferson believed that a free individuals identity should be held sacred and that his or her dignity and integrity should not be violated. Americas 19th c. Transcendentalists philosophers (Emerson, Thoreau, Fuller) argued for more individual self-reliance. Encouraged individuals to trust in themselves and their own consciences and to revolt against routine and habitual paths of conduct. Early 20th c. Pragmatists (James, Dewey) insisted upon the individuals ability 19 to control his or her fate.

Individualism, understood not only as self-reliance but also as economic selfsufficiency, has been a central theme in American history (frontiers heroes who braved the wilderness alone, farmers whose success depended on their ability to confront the hardships of land and resourcefulness, the celebration of the small businessman who became a financial success on his own; individual proprietorship in business is still extolled as the ideal). + Self-made man like B.Franklin. 3. Idealizing What Is Practical Many historians believe that most of the beliefs and values which are characteristically American emerged within the context of the frontier experience. Survival in the wilderness was best achieved to robust individualists. Survival experiences also explain the American tendency to idealize whatever is practical. In America what works is what counts. Inventiveness was necessary for survival. This can-do spirit is something Americans are proud of today. They like to think they are natural-born do-it-yourselfers (a variety of self-help books). 4. Volunteerism means people helping people through privately initiated, rather than government-sponsored, agencies. Volunteers are highly motivated people, workers who organize themselves and others to solve a particular community problem or meet an immediate social need, rather then waiting for someone else usually the govt- to do it. The willingness to participate in such groups is so widespread that six out of ten Americans are members of a volunteer organization. Volunteerism reflects Americans optimistic pride in their ability to work out practical solutions themselves. Americans like to form associations of different kind (Tocqueville and Mead wrote about that).

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

Unindra Team.2009.Cross Cultural Understanding.Jakarta : Unindra http://www.americanfamilytraditions.com/traditions_customs_rituals.htm http://www.americanfamilytraditions.com/values.htm http://www.seattlepi.com/local/opinion/article/American-culture-in-sexual-chaos1173266.php http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_the_United_States#Social_class_and_wor k http://www.infoplease.com/spot/holidays.html http://www.kirkcenter.org/index.php/detail/what-are-american-traditions/ http://www.americanhospitals.com/questions/american/amervalues.htm

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