Popular American Culture Trends Essay

1350 words - 6 pages

The American way of life revolves around popular culture or mass culture. The environment surrounding people will shape the lives and personalities of those individuals. Although culture is a part of everyone's life, it can be very difficult to strictly define due to such a variety of societal aspects. "Anthropologists define culture as everything that occurs in a society--all of the customs and practices handed down from generation to generation. These contributions usually come from formal institutions, such as churches, the government, and, increasingly, the media; mores, or standards of behavior; laws; and conventional practices and customs (Wilson, 2001). Culture could be defined in ...view middle of the document...

Each person has a role that is genuinely important in the social structure and these social structures make up the separate cultures in our environment.One thing that can develop as cultures continue to evolve is trends. One example is the trends in American popular culture or mass culture. America has become a society of people who demand instant gratification and convenience. Because of this, distinctive patterns emerge to fulfill these demands. Conveniences such as drive-up windows, grocery delivery services, online banking, and even online education have become the norm in American society. The ever-increasing competitiveness and fast pace of American society creates an environment where convenience is a must. The need for convenience promotes an environment where advertisers design marketing campaigns to persuade consumers to buy their products not based not solely on the product itself, but on the convenience it will provide to them. This has a tremendous impact on the trends that develop in popular American culture.Other trends in American culture revolve around things such as entertainment and leisure. Things like CD's, DVD's, Ipods, and MP3 players are just a few items that are purchased for entertainment and leisure purposes and are trends in American society. "Most of today's popular culture is mass-produced and is disseminated through the mass media. Popular music, cheap paperback novels, soap operas, videocassette movies, and a myriad of advertised products from designer jeans to disposable razors make up our everyday environment" (Wilson, 2001). The fact that the entertainment industry is a multi-billion dollar industry provides evidence that Americans spend enormous amounts of money on entertainment and leisure activities clearly making this a trend in American society.Individual status is another trend that occurs in American culture. Some purchases made by Americans are not done out of need, rather they are done to reflect a certain kind of status. American people go to tanning salons, get their hair and nails done, buy designer clothes and jewelry, buy expense cars and even eat expensive food. These things are not purchased because the individuals need them to survive, rather Americans feel that all of these things portray a level of success in life and reflect a certain status. The purchase of these services or items to portray a status shows trends that are currently a part of American pop culture.Restaurant trends are affected by pop culture as well. Whether the type of restaurant becomes popular because of a fad or an item is added to an already existing restaurant menu because of a certain type of diet that happens to be popular at the time, trends exist in the restaurant business. For example, all different kinds off low carbohydrate diets are popular now, and several fast food chains and restaurants have followed suit by incorporating low carbohydrate menu items. This is a trend....

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