American Culture

Is there a National Character of the United States?

American culture is traditionally held to hold some attributes to be uniquely American and these help to define their identities. It should be noted that not everyone in the United States thinks this way and there are some distinct regional identities, but the following list mentions some general thoughts about American culture:

Music

The music that has come out of American culture over the past 150 years has made an absolutely gigantic impact on the music of the world. All of the below musical styles came from the United States:

Cuisine

Many of the dishes which are considered to be quintessentially American have elements from a variety of other cultures. However, there is still the idea of "American food" and many restaurants advertise this as their genre of cooking.

Some of the most popular and well known American foods are fried chicken, apple pie, hamburgers, French fries, donuts, meatloaf, and pizza.

Another important aspect of American cuisine is also where people choose to eat instead of what. Traditionally, the places that most people went out to eat were cafes or diners where one could order practically anything off of an extensive menu, sit about drinking coffee and discussing matters of the community and news in the area.

Film

American filmmaking has been very influential since the beginning of the medium and the suburb of Los Angeles, California, Hollywood, has become a term to describe the mainstream cinema in the United States in general. Even other countries refer to the film industry as Hollywood sometimes.

Films made in the United States are also very successful and popular drawing hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for each new release. Famous American filmmakers include George Lucas, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, John Carpenter, John Hughs, J.J. Abrams among uncountable others.

Sports

The United States is also known for its very popular sports which developed within the country in the 1800s.

Accents

Depending on what part of the country you may be in, the people there may speak with very different accents. These accents are, more often than not, reflective of the immigrant populations in the area.

Residents of the Northern parts of the Plains States have a slightly German inflection because of the large number of German immigrants to the area over one hundred years ago.

People from the Northeastern United States have a distinct non-rhotic accent (they drop the "r" sounds at the end of words) which renders the phrase is unusual in other parts of the country.

Southern Accents, often cited as the most pleasant of American accents by foreign visitors, is influenced by French and African immigrants to the area either through colonization or the now defunct practice of slavery.

The vocabulary of American regions can vary significantly as well. So much so some regions can't even decide on what the proper terms for things are! (See linguistics study below.)

American Culture Links

Music history
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_history_of_the_United_States

American Food
http://www.americanfoodroots.com/

Great American Filmmakers
http://www.imdb.com/list/PP2z_D2XXxE/

Baseball
http://mlb.mlb.com/home

American Football
http://www.nfl.com/

Basketball
http://www.nba.com/

Linguistics Study of the United States
http://spark-1590165977.us-west-2.elb.amazonaws.com/jkatz/SurveyMaps/