Mon

15

Apr

2013

Culture of the United States

Culture of the United States

The Declaration of Independance

 

Press to see the entire article

American culture is a Western culture, largely based on British culture with influences from other parts of Europe, the Native American peoples, African Americans and to a lesser extent Asian Americans and other young groups of immigrants. Due to the extent of American culture there are many integrated but unique subcultures within the U.S. 

Attitudes Society and economic attitudes Relationship to other countries/cultures Body contact and expression
Names Intra-national allegiances Food Popular culture 
Technology and gadgets Tobacco Sports Clothing
Education Public education Private education Higher education
Language Religion Work and jobs Housing
Romantic relationships Marriage ceremonies Divorce Death rituals
Gender roles Family arrangements Nuclear family living patterns Single-parent living patterns
Regional distinctions Variations Rural living patterns Suburban living patterns
See also


 

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Mon

15

Apr

2013

HOW JON STEWART BLEW UP IN CHINA

Letter from China - Dispatches by Evan Osnos.

APRIL 12, 2013

HOW JON STEWART BLEW UP IN CHINA

POSTED BY 

To Original NEW YORKER Article

 

Jon Stewart has decided, as he put it this week, that he might be working the wrong continent. In a segment called “Big Ratings in Giant China,” Stewart expounded on his recent discovery that he is racking up millions of hits, and thousands of favorable comments, from Chinese viewers, who see the show in scattered subtitled clips posted on Chinese sites.

He decided to cater to the new audience by renaming his program, in one segment at least, “The Daily Show with Imperialist Puppet,” with attendant jokes: “How about this air pollution? I’ve seen Confucius quotes that are clearer.” And “What do you call a hundred Taiwanese citizens in a bathtub? Chinese! Because Taiwan does not exist independently.”

 

So just what does China think of “The Daily Show”? Max Fisher, the Washington Posts foreign affairs blogger, first noticed that a segment on North Korea, entitled “Nuke Kid on the Block,” had been subtitled in Chinese and racked up two million eight hundred thousand views in China.

 

He wondered if “the voraciousness with which Chinese viewers are watching the segment suggests that their appetite for such coverage, for publicly criticizing an ally that has become something of an embarrassment, far exceeds what they’re getting.”

 

He’s right, but there is something at work that runs even deeper: the popularity of Stewart and “The Daily Show” among the urbane crowd offers a good measure of how China is changing. And it bodes well for the future of satire in China.

 

Comedy—acted out in the open, at least—rarely thrives under autocrats. When the Communist Party came to power, in 1949, it did its best to stifle the laughter. The most famous form of Chinese humor, a two-man vaudeville-style routine known as “crosstalk,” had a history of lampooning corrupt officials, pompous intellectuals, and hayseed peasants, all with proudly bawdy repartee. But once in power, the Party formed a “Committee for Crosstalk Reform,” which set about correcting hundreds of classic bits. The Committee concluded that it was time for the comedians to replace satire with “praise.” After studying the effects, David Moser, an American linguist, concluded, “ ‘praise’ is not very funny.”

 

In television terms, “The Daily Show” is an undocumented immigrant in China. It’s nowhere to be found on official channels, but in the last few years ordinary men and women have banded together to subtitle and post clips as fast as they can. About half of the Chinese population is now online—a transformative experience for many people. In Chinese, “The Daily Show,” or “Meiri Xiu” (“Everyday Show”), is hosted by a certain Jiong Situ, a.k.a. 囧司徒. It’s an elegant transliteration: 囧, or jiǿng, is a fashionable Chinese character (yes, there are such things) these days, because it’s been adopted by young people to mean what it looks like: a face that is vexed, frustrated, embarrassed.

 

The Chinese reaction to Jiong Situ ranges from bewilderment—his Peter Dinklage reference in a joke about Kim Jong-un’s height may have lost something in the translation—to envy. His homage this week to his Chinese viewers sparked a discussion of its own. “I hope everybody sees this. Don’t mistake it for just a comedy show,” wrote one person on Weibo, the micro-blogging site. “When will China have its own Jon Stewart?” asked another.

That may take a while. Humor, as a habit of mind, is subversive. And that’s why leaders with the power to stifle it tend to do so. We’ve seen it this month in Egypt; for a long time, one of Burma’s most famous political prisoners was its most famous comedian, Zarganar. There is nothing funny about the Chinese Communist Party these days, at least officially. But every day that people in China are online, they are honing the arts of skepticism and independent thought. Stay tuned. Or, as Stewart put it, “Join us tomorrow; our guest, the Dalai—er, Dolly Parton. Yes, Dolly Parton.”

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Thu

11

Apr

2013

A View of Current Chinese Culture

From the New YorkTimes


OP-ED GUEST COLUMNIST

In China, Feudal Answers for Modern Problems

 

BEIJING

 

 

After Mao Zedong announced the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the Communist Party began to get rid of all the vestiges of the “feudal” society that had preceded it.

 

This process culminated during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) with the campaign to “Destroy the Four Olds”: old thought, culture, customs and habits. Cultural relics and temples were feudal, and so, too, were traditional celebrations, like the springtime Qingming(tomb sweeping) and Dragon Boat Festivals and the Mid-Autumn Festival.

 


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Tue

09

Apr

2013

USA : Basic American Values and Beliefs (Part 2)

From Goldenline (a Polish publication)

 

IS AMERICA A CLASSLESS SOCIETY? DESCRIBE THE SOCIAL STRATIFICATION IN THE US.

CLASS – a term used by Max Weber to refer to persons who share a similar level of wealth and income.

 
STRATIFICATION – a structured ranking of entire groups of people that perpetuates unequal economic rewards and power in a society.

 

SOCIAL INEQUALITY – describes a condition in which members of a society have unequal amounts of wealth, prestige or power.

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Tue

09

Apr

2013

USA : Basic American Values and Beliefs (Part I)

From Goldenline (a Polish publication)

 

WHAT ARE THE BASIC AMERICAN VALUES AND BELIEFS?


Sociologist Robin Williams attempted to offer a list of basic values in the United States:

 
Achievement, efficiency, material comfort, nationalism, equality and the supremacy of science and reason, over faith. 


There are certain ideals and values, rooted in the country’s history, which many Americans share.
These are: FREEDOM, INDIVIDUALISM, PRAGMATISM, VOLUNTEERISM, MOBILITY, PATRIOTISM, PROGRESS, AMERICAN DREAM.

There are certain ideals and values, rooted in the country’s history, which many Americans share. These are: FREEDOM, INDIVIDUALISM, PRAGMATISM, VOLUNTEERISM, MOBILITY, PATRIOTISM, PROGRESS, AMERICAN DREAM.

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