An analysis of the United StatesCultureJennifer Castillo Solis
What will be viewed in thispresentation...BehaviorCommunicationLinguistics according to regionFoodsAttireLifeStyleCelebrations and holidays
Introduction to the culture of The United States
The U.S.A is a vast nation…The U.S.A is an immense country comprised of over 300 million inhabitants. Those occupants reside in the 50 states that the country is made up of. From the arctic state of Alaska to the warm beaches of Florida are part of the U.S.AThe U.S.A is divided into 4 regions; the East coast, West coast, Midwest, South
States in the WestCalifornia New MexicoOregon IdahoWashington UtahArizona HawaiiColorado AlaskaNevada Texas*MontanaWyoming
Population Trends in the West91 million inhabitantsAgricultural populationHas been highly influenced by Native American, Hispanic and European influenceContains largest number of minorities1.6 million Native American population22.3 million Hispanics (maj. Mexican)
Population trends continued…Asians 5.1 millionAfrican Americans 5.9 million(majority in Texas were slavery began)In the entire United States the majority of Native Americans, Hispanics and Asians live in the West
Linguistics of Western U.S.ADistinctaccentHeavy and often times difficult to understandUse contractionsDrop the g sound when speaking example ¨I am going¨ will sound like ¨I am goin¨Frequent use of uncommon words and phrases
More on Western linguisticsCommon Western phrases:gotta (got to, must)gonna (got to, going to)over yonder (over there)nu-uh (no)fixin ta (getting ready to do something)yall (you all)wanna (want to)
Frequent unusual phrases…¨Itsso hot the hens are layin hard-boiled eggs.¨ (related to weather)¨meaner than a skillet full of rattlesnakes.¨¨It came a real gully-washer last night or, Nu-uh, its so dry the trees are bribin the dogs.¨¨yur so lucky yur riding a gravy train with biscuit wheels¨
Even more unusual phrases…¨couldnt pour rain out of a boot with a hole in the toe and directions on the heel.¨¨calm as a june bug¨¨nervous as a long-tailed cat in a roomful of rockers¨¨all worked up and throw a hissy fit.¨when a Texan tawks bout playin ball he prolly means football.quick as a hiccup
Sum up Western talk…Generally talk slowLarge use of contractionsUse unusual phrasesExpresses emotion when speaking
Mid Western U.S.A. also known as…¨TheHeartland¨The MidwestThe Middle West
States in the midwest include:Illinois NebraskaIndiana North DakotaIowa South DakotaKansas WisconsinMichiganMinnesotaMissouriOhio
Population in the Midwest…66 million inhabitantsComprised mainly of a mixture of different races including Caucasians, African Americans, HispanicsHave some of the most populated cities in the country
Midwesterners are viewed as:FriendlyStubbornOpenUnsophisticatedStraightforward
Linguistic Trends in the MidwestQuite distinct from other areas of the U.S.AConsidered to be ¨standard American English¨The farther north traveled the heavier the accent becomes (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Upper Michigan) derived from the Scandinavian influence
Linguistic Trends cont.Western Michigan has a dutch flavored accentMany areas near of Canada have a similar accent to that of Canada
Southern United States also known as…DixieTheSouthAmerican South
Brief facts of the SouthHeavily influenced by the slave tradeNative American tribes presentEuropean inhabitantsCivil war against the confederate south and the northSouth has developed its own customs, literature, cuisine, and language based on their own experiences
Other famous cities…Little HavanaMiamiNew OrleansSavannah
Southern dialect…Southern American English dialect is often stigmatized Danjuh: Imminent peril. What John Paul Jones meant when he said, "Give me a fast ship, for I intend to put her in harms way." Deah: A term of endearment, except in the sense Rhett Butler used it when he said to Scarlett OHara, "Frankly, my deah, Ah dont give a damn." Didnt go to: Did not intend to. "Dont whip Billy for knockin his little sister down. He didnt go to do it."
Frequent words in the south…Everthang: All-encompassing. "everthangs all messed up."Farn: Anything that is not domestic. "Ah dont drink no farn liquor, specially Rooshin vodka."Foolin around: Can mean not doing anything in particular or sex, usually of the extramarital variety. "Sue caught her husband foolin around, so she divorced him."
Includes various states…New York Rhode IslandNew JerseyPennsylvaniaConnecticutMassachusettsNew HampshireMaineVermont
Key Facts about the East CoastWere against slavery in the Civil WarFamous for there stereotype of having a fast paced lifeMost famous city is New York City also known as the Big Apple and The City that Never Sleeps
Well known cities include:SalemNewarkPittsburgNew York City
Linguistics with the EastSpeak directBe politeMay be spoken in a rapid manner (esp. NY)Nonverbal expression is often used
Common phrases…How you doin’What you up to?What’s goin’ on?Just playin’ShortyWhat’s up?Check you later
A little food historyU.S.A. is well known for its fertile landAmerican food grew more similar around the country as American malls and fast- food outlets tended to standardize eating patterns throughout the nation, especially among young people.
More food data…American food has become more complex as it draws from the diverse cuisines that immigrants have brought with them.Traditional American cuisine has included conventional European foodstuffs such as wheat, dairy products, pork, beef, and poultry.
Food according to regionAmerican cuisine also varies by region. Southern cooking was often different from cooking in New England and its upper Midwest offshoots Doughnuts, for example, were a New England staple, while Southerners preferred corn bread. The availability of foods also affected regional diets, such as the different kinds of fish eaten in New England and the Gulf Coast.
Food according to region cont.Boston clam chowder and Louisiana gumbo are widely different versions of fish soup. Other variations often depended on the contributions of indigenous peoples.In the Southwest, for example, Mexican and Native Americans made hot peppers a staple and helped define the spicy hot barbecues and chili dishes of the area. In Louisiana, Cajun influence similarly created spicy dishes as a local variation of Southern cuisine, and African slaves throughout the South introduced foods such as okra and yams
Today’s food consumptionAmerican emphasis on convenience and rapid consumption is best represented in fast foods such as hamburgers, french fries, and soft drinks, which almost all Americans have eaten. By the 1960s and 1970s fast foods became one of Americas strongest exports as franchises for McDonald’s and Burger King spread through Europe and other parts of the world, including the former Soviet Union and Communist China.
Key points on attire…Americans do not have distinctive folk attire with a long tradition.American clothing has tended to be homogeneousAmerican dress is distinctive because of its casualness.European designs remain a significant influence on American tastes
More points on attire…Blue jeans are probably the single most representative article of American clothing.American informality in dress is such a strong part of American culture that many workplaces have adopted the idea of “casual Friday,”
Famous designers include…Calvin KleinLiz ClairebornRalph Lauren
Business attire is different…Business suit and tie are appropriate in all major cities. Wear dark colored business suits in classic colors of gray and navy. For an important formal meeting, choose a white dress shirt, for less formal a light blue shirt will still give you a conservative appearance.
Business wearWomen should wear a suit or dress with jacket in major cities. Wearing classic clothing and classic colors of navy, gray, ivory, and white will ensure you give a confident and conservative appearance.Women may wear a business dress, or skirt and blouse, in rural areas.Men may conduct business without wearing a jacket and/or tie in rural areas.
Business attire cont.Clothing, whether formal or casual, should be clean and neat in appearance.Casual clothing is appropriate when not attending a work related meeting/dinner. Building a casual wardrobe using classic lines and colors (navy, gray, camel, ivory and white) will give you a look that is stylish and professional even when you are relaxing.
Life StyleAmericans choosing to live in the suburbs, a distinctly American phenomenon developed in the form of the shopping mall. The shopping mall has increasingly replaced the old-fashioned urban downtown, where local shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions were located. Modern malls emphasize consumption as an exclusive activity. The shopping mall, filled with department stores, specialty shops, fast- food franchises, and movie multiplexes, has come to dominate retailing, making suburban areas across America more and more alike
Life StyleThe American preference for living in the suburbs has also affected other living experiences. Because suburbs emphasize family life, suburban areas also place a greater emphasis on school and other family-oriented political issues than more demographically diverse cities.
HousingMany poorer Americans cannot afford homes in the suburbs or apartments in the gentrified areas of cities. They often rely upon federal housing subsidies to pay for apartments in less-desirable areas of the city or in public housing projects