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Elements of US Culture - Essay Example

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The concept of freedom of expression has been enrooted in the social mindset since the period of European Enlightenment. The first Amendment to the US Constitution introduced freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the freedom to assemble peaceably to America…
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In other words, for free expression of ideas, there is need of a proper social order. In addition, it can be said that allowing free expression of ideas helps reduce violence to a great extent. When people are allowed to opine publicly, they are less likely to resort to violence or armed agitation which, often, are the ways of the suppressed. Thus, the American society, from the very beginning, believes in liberalism including freedom of speech, freedom of press, equality under law, equality in all governmental provisions including education and health care. Though this freedom of thinking and expression resulted in better individual performance, and thus better overall growth, there are certain areas that witnessed a trend that is in sharp contrast to expectations and thus, having a negative impact on society. The first one among them is the family structure. Looking into the way American families have changed over these years, one can see a rather grim picture of situations. The traditional concept of family included a breadwinning father as the head of the family, a caretaking mother and a few children. mother and a few children. The family, in the traditional context, involved a number of basic relationships including biological, emotional, social, and economic relations. People used to turn to their families whenever they wanted physical, economic or emotional support. Thus, families acted as the basic institutions that passed culture and traditions to the future generations. However, the social changes in the twentieth century resulted in a lot of changes in the way families operate. Some such changes are active participation of females in the paid labor, medical advances resulted in effective birth control, and increasing divorce rates due to the general fall in morale. Though almost three quarters of American citizens still live in family setup, the nature of the family is totally different from that of a traditional one. Recent studies reveal that only less than one-tenth of families fit the traditional definition of family In addition, more than half of the families have no minor children; and yet another serious concern is that only twenty percent of total births are out of wedlock (Fraser 1989). Traditionally, women were raised to become dependent housewives and they did not work outside home. They were caretaking wives and the economic safety of the family was the total responsibility of the breadwinning husband. In sharp contrast, in the present generation, most females in the child-bearing age are employed. Yet another surprising trend visible is the decline visible in the employment rate of men. In addition, there are more grandparents than grandchildren for the first time in the history of America. The trend is pointing towards a social situation that is totally contradictory to the traditional concepts. Despite these shortcomings, America is looking forward to a bright future through technology and education. The present situation of education in America is rather grim. It is a tough task for the American youth to join a school or college as they have to go through the tiring task of proving why they are joining the school through essays, tests and recommendations. Furthermore, it is possible for Americans to judge the ethnicity and economic status of a student ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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