Dimensions of Culture in America and Germany Essay

Dimensions of Culture in America and Germany Essay

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Culture is defined as “the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time” or “a particular society that has its own beliefs, ways of life, art, etc.” according to Merriam- Webster. These definitions could never be truer; I’ve lived in The United States and in Germany and can identify with both cultures. The three major dimensions of culture: ideas, norms, and material culture; are the components of the framework on which our society is built around. And not just in America, but they vary in every city, state, and country.
Values are socially shared ideas about what is significant in society. Most Americans value a momentous place in society where they are well known or idolized. On top of this we all know how vital an education is to achieve such status, as well as just becoming wealthy. Prosperity is also very important in our society, it seems these days the amount of money you have decides on if you sink or swim. The more sophisticated society becomes the more essential it becomes that we have substantial amounts of funds. A significant amount, but not all, Americans value their friends and family, because whether people believe it or not they play a key role in who they are and who they will become. I lived in Germany from the time I was 4 until 10 years of age, and although those weren’t the most significant years of my development, it was my start. I don’t really think my values as a person would have been altered if I grew up entirely in the United States or in Germany. I believe that these values are those of a human being, and where you grow up has little influence on your values.
Norms, or the specific cultural expectations for how to behave in a given situation, that is a different a...


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...table in the United States, it’s not made out to be a big deal. But if German students were to make tasteless Nazi jokes and exhibit the Nazi salute, they would surely suffer the consequences.
In some ways the United States isn’t too different from Germany, due to the fact that they are inhabited by human beings; and all human beings have mostly the same values regardless of their surroundings. Living in both countries I wouldn’t be able to count the differences in cultures and what are and aren’t considered acceptable. However, I consider myself lucky to be able to experience both, and to currently live in America as I feel we have the richest culture. After all, America is considered a big melting pot, and we have some aspects of the cultures of other countries including Germany. Most people that don’t know a few of our Christmas traditions come from the Germans.

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