American Culture: Myth and Reality of a Culture of Diversity (Google eBook)

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Greenwood Publishing Group, Jan 1, 1998 - Social Science - 168 pages
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America, like other modern nations, is characterized by its diversity and can be seen as a complex and fragmented nation-state. Yet an American culture defined by those beliefs, behaviors, and results that all Americans do share, irrespective of their other cultural affiliations, does exist. This book presents an innovative approach to the issues and aspects in the study of America's unique culture. The real diversity of America is lost in the practice of categorizing people into social (racial or ethnic) groups and then attributing culture to them. While not an exhaustive treatment of the culture, this volume serves as a point of departure for discussions of American culture in a variety of courses both within and outside the discipline of anthropology. Each chapter is accompanied by suggested readings to enable the student to pursue a more in-depth study of any individual topic.
  

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Contents

The Idea of Culture
1
Problems with Culture
2
Core Areas of Culture
6
Cultural Groupings
8
Cultures Types
10
Forms Versions of Culture
16
Culture as Truth
23
Diversity and Multiculturalism
24
American Social and Cultural Groups
71
Sex and Mating Practices
77
Marriage
81
American Family and Household
83
Nonkinship Social Groups
86
Social Interaction
88
American Organizational Structure
93
Culturation Processes
95

Conclusion
25
America and Americans
29
American History
32
American Portrait
34
Perceptions of American Culture
40
Mainstream American Culture
45
Ideas Americans Live By
51
Orienting Ideas
53
The American Dream
54
American Values
55
Assumptions and Other American Ideas
58
Other Observations of American Culture
60
Paradoxes and Contradictions of American Culture
62
American Social Structure
67
Social Structure and Organization
68
Political System
105
Economic System
107
Religion in American Life
109
Ceremonial Cycle
111
Leisure America
113
The Diversity That Is America
117
Culture Ethnicity and Race
119
AfricanAmericans
128
MexicanAmericans
133
Native Americans
135
Special Interest Cultural Groupings
139
Postscript
151
Bibliography
155
Index
159
Copyright

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Page viii - Because culture is such an important part of what it means to be human, I have always spent a considerable amount of time on the concept.

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About the author (1998)

LARRY L. NAYLOR is Professor of Anthropology, Institute of Anthropology, University of North Texas.

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