Ivy1101 American Culture, Beginning Questions: Please answer the following questions before class, there is no correct answer

. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Define American culture in 5 sentences. What is an “American Identity”? Who is a typical American? Who do you think are the most influential Americans? Most Famous? What are the successes & positives of America? What are the failures and negatives? What has influenced American culture? How has American culture influenced the world? How are different parts of America different? The same? What interests you most about America? What is your biggest question?

10. Who are Native Americans? 11. Please define the following terms: a. Liberty b. Freedom c. Discrimination d. Democracy e. Individualism f. equal opportunity

Growing up in Alabama. FOLKLORE. practice and modify as we please. psychology. In other words. everyday actions. and how we do it. From 1947-50 I taught at the University of Nebraska. What first attracted you to the formal study of everyday life? Browne: I have always had a great deal of hope for the possible accomplishments of human intelligence if properly used. . It is the everyday world around us: the mass media. and religion — our total life picture. democracy speaking and acting.INTERVIEW ON CULTURE. It is our heroes. It is the dreams we dream while asleep. entertainments. not necessarily to remember. the seedbed in which democracy grows. it is the voice of the people — their likes and dislikes — that form the lifeblood of daily existence. Americana: We know you began in folklore. and diversions. AND POP CULTURE. famous for the folklorist Louise Pound. I looked over at the University of Alabama—and other colleges —and thought I saw that there was a great field of everyday life that needed to be studied and understood. rituals.Professor Ray B. Popular culture democratizes society and makes democracy truly democratic. and my deep feeling for the importance of folklore was strengthened. Popular culture is the voice of democracy. icons. and to me so-called "higher education" was the route to that accomplishment. who had just retired. thinking was more important than remembering. In a democracy like the United States. Browne Popular culture is the way of life in which and by which most people in any society live. It is the way of living we inherit. But I have thought that this "higher education" meant teaching the mind to think. of a way of life.

at UCLA. Even Benjamin Franklin. In early America." that is everyday culture as distinguished from folklore (though they are essentially the same. especially after doing a summer's collecting of folksongs in Alabama. who published for and understood the common people. Wayland Hand. Wayland did not understand what I was talking about when I told him I wanted to study "popular culture.Americana: Tell us about your time at UCLA. Isn't that where you first formed this idea of studying something called "popular culture"? Browne: After three years of teaching at Nebraska. I told him about collecting The Lord's Prayer as a folksong. there was less distinction between the levels of society though the Reverend Cotton Mather. it is important that all aspects be known because up until recently they were recognized as inseparable. Americana: Why is the study of popular culture important? Browne: For a civilization to flourish and continue. There my feeling about the importance of the study of everyday culture was strengthened—or perhaps allowed—by two of my professors. He thought that was significant. in England and Western Europe there was no separation of "elite" and common culture until the sixteenth century. folklorist. and Leon Howard. I went on for a Ph. though preaching to the masses. thought their music very crude and detestable.D. Leon Howard understood what I was talking about and allowed me to go ahead. an important scholar in American literature. when the powerful realized that by using their power they could pull themselves "above" the so-called masses. detested some of their attitudes and practices. . For example. except in different media).

This evidence is clearly visible now in the interest we are seeing among archeologists who are digging around in tombs of the dead. . some cultures are desirable to some of the people some of the time and as such they are valuable as evidence of that segment of society.But increasingly our culture is coming to realize that the proper study of a democratic society is its democratic cultures and practices. but as Lincoln might have said. all. Some may be more desirable and respectable. not looking for gold but for everyday artifacts.

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