American society is a multicultural society comprising of virtually all races from the world. This makes the culture in the society to be very diverse and contain a combination of different cultures. This makes some aspects like behavior and clothing to vary across the American society without any transition
The books given analyze the American culture which has developed over time and become revolutionized. The American society has developed its own culture which is a western culture greatly influenced by the European cultures. This culture has evolved to contain its unique aspects like music, dance and mannerisms which are different from any other in the original cultures. Having its roots in a number of different cultures, the American culture can be said to be a hybrid culture (Joseph, 3).
The main cultures to influence the American culture are the German culture, Swiss culture and other European cultures (Joseph, 3). These cultures have different contributions to the current American culture making it a more complicated society and culture to learn and understand.
The contemporary American society comprises of diverse cultures due to the mass immigration of settlers. This has resulted in development of different cultures causing America to be a culturally diversified country. Therefore, for the American society to coexist freely, cultural diversity must be appreciated (Joseph, 4). Several aspects of the American society have undergone radical changes which are discussed in detail in this paper.
Money is one of the key aspects that affect the American society. Anybody who has money has a feeling of strength and authority in the society. This makes the rich and wealthy to overlook the poor and avert justice in case there is any struggle between the two classes of people. Money also dictates the ability to lead the country thus the society believes that the wealthy are the only eligible people to leadership positions (Lewis, 46).
American culture or society is generally termed a middle class culture but basically comprises of people from all social levels. The middle class in the social ladder is the majority, probably making the whole American society to be claimed middle class society (Joseph, 7).
Social class in America is mostly defined by occupation, education level and location. Certain education levels command some respect and thus earn some more money to the holders. This makes the American society to be heavily divided according to the amount of money held. The top class people are the most educated tending to always use a complicated language as a way of show off or due to the academic levels. They also speak in an authoritative tone and tend to always promote racial discrimination though from a very oblique angle. This class of people also has a tendency of prestigious consumption of products (Lewis, 4).
The middle class which comprises of more than 50% of the American population is the main class in the society. The members of this class are of middle level collages and tertiary levels. The class is mainly depicted by the clothing. The main areas of occupancy are business seats where they run the businesses. A good location is Michigan in Illinois. The consumption is not similar to that of top class since they mostly use accessories instead of expensive products. The issue of racial discrimination is depicted in this class by children attendance in different schools and different topics of concern taught in different institutions (Lewis, 5).
The last class to consider is the low class or the peasants in the United States. This class is significantly large enough to affect the economy of the country. This has led to increased dependency ratio in America over the recent years. A well known location for this class of people is Los Angeles. The low income generating activities in this class has resulted in increased crime rates and cropping up o a variety of crimes (social crimes, economic crimes and law/ criminal offences) (Lewis, 10). Looking at the contemporary American society, there has been persistent American social revolution, racism, religion, art, education and political organization. In our paper, we are to cover the prejudice in the American society.
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Racism in the American society
Looking at the history of racism in America, it is one of the oldest vices to be recorded in the American soil. It started back in the 18th century when a massive transfer of people into America took place. The main people who inhabited the continent after the mass migration into America were the Indians, Swiss, Germans, Britons and other European ethnic groups.
In the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, racial discrimination has been mainly based skin color. The whites think that they are a superior breed compared to the blacks who are supposed to be the slaves of the whites. This belief can be attributed to the slave trade and pre-colonial reasoning where the white settlers believed that Africans are not human beings but beasts thus should not be treated better than animals (Joseph, 26).
In the 21st century, things and form of racial discrimination started to take place. The century recorded reduced form of racial discrimination which was no longer based on the color of the skin. In fact, racism disguised itself to a point that any person new to America would not record anything about racism on the American soil. However, several people sacrifice even their lives so as to reduce and if possible combat racism in America. Their efforts are recognitions are outlined below. All the key revolution black leaders who battled to bring to an end the color line in all fields had famous sayings and slogans which appeared very inspirational to the blacks who were mostly the victims of color segregation.
In the American history, this was the first African to play professional baseball in America. This is a clear indication that baseball or any other sport was meant for whites at professional levels. Any black with ability to perform at the professional levels was denied a chance only because of his color.
Jackie made it into professional baseball in the year 1947 and this caused a lot of heat in the baseball team. In spite of racial segregation that he faced, his exceptional talent and expertise pushed him even to greater heights. His involvement in professional sports helped a lot reduce color segregation in sport. A great reduction in color prejudice was recorded towards the end of 20th century. He played for different teams presumably due to color segregation.
In his career as an army man, Robinson had a hard time in the troops and together with his fellow blacks, they faced segregation. He stayed adamant on what he wanted and when charged with multiple offences in military courts, he argued his way out but was not allowed to take part in any out of country operations. Instead, he became a couch of the army athletes. After his retirement from military occupation, he joined baseball which made him even more popular than any other person. By the year 1971, he was the second most popular person in America. (Howard, 2-16).
Martin Luther King Junior
This is the most popular human rights activist in America in the 20th century. He was a clergyman whose father was also a clergy man but had the call of helping the black and reduces racial division. His role in American liberalization greatly contributed to the contemporary American liberalized society where racial prejudice is not as open as before. This has made him a prominent person in the American Revolution and advancement towards the end of racial discrimination.
In his quest to stop racial discrimination, he led several demonstrations and boycotts which yielded much fruit in reducing the prejudice. His quotes on racial discrimination are very inspiring and that is what inspired the American society to end racial discrimination.
In the year 1963, the made his famous speech ‘ I have a dream’ which up to date stands at undisputable levels in literature. This speech remains one of the most inspirational and touching speeches ever made in a bid to stop color prejudice. It is from this speech that the famous saying ‘ I have a dream that my people will no longer be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character’ is drawn from.
In the year 1968, Martin Luther was assassinated at the balcony of his house by people supposedly opposed to his work. Though he died, he left behind a legacy that is still remembered today in the American history. His doctors claimed that though he died at an age below 35 years, his heart was similar to that of a person twice his age. This is an indication that Martin had dedicated his life to ending racial discrimination (Downing, 4-46).
One perfect illustration of the American racism in the 21st century was the Malcolm X saga. The saga illustrated how racism was revolutionized from being color skin based to origin based. The family of Malcolm X comprised of a cross racial father, Swedish mother and six children. The father was killed by an American group which had earlier threatened to do so. The case of his murder was not even considered and when it came to compensation of his beneficiaries from his life assurance schemes, only one of the two policies was granted and the lesser one. This was an act of impunity and racial discrimination which made Malcolm decide to avenge his father’s death by protecting the black Americans from the unfair treatment by white Americans. In revenge, Malcolm X started spreading propaganda that the blacks were a superior race making him a threat to the national security. In the year 1962, he was assassinated by the same movement that murdered his father. This shows how racism started changing and disguising though it was still in existence (George, 4-12).
In the very recent, there is a case still pending in Chicago involving a white guard who shot and killed a black minor. Proceedings appear to favor the murderer by shifting the blame from murder of first degree to second degree lessening the punishment of the offender.
Another form of prejudice which is still alive in the American society is religious prejudice. As the immigrants tried to have more influence on the overall society, Christianity was the most widespread religious faith. As a result, Islam religion which contradicts with Christianity on some issues was discriminated against. As a result, the Muslims faced discrimination in America resulting in a society where religious freedom appeared restricted. This trend continued for the better part of 20th century but towards the end of the century, Islam started becoming a popular religion in the US (George, 72).
Prejudice in the contemporary American society
In the current US society, prejudice has ceased to be rampant issue since it is now possible to see students from different races attending the same schools. This has resulted in improved interracial coexistence and relations. As an example of revolution in the American society, the current American president, President Barrack Obama, is a black American. This is a direct illustration that the doors have been opened to give equal opportunity to all races in the American society.
Secondly, the topic should have information on how to curb racism as well as promote cultural diversity. By elaborating more on cultural diversity, the topic would have improved understanding and relevance to the learners. This would help improve intercultural relationships as well as promote acceptance of people from other races.
In conclusion, the American society can be claimed to be a society based on many cultures. The Americans thus trace different ethnic and religious origins leading to intercultural relationships. This has led to American appreciation of cultural diversity and reduced racial discrimination though it still exists in some areas and situations.
The virtue of cultural diversity in the US society has more advantageous results than disadvantages. Therefore, the good aspects in the American society should not be overlooked because of the few disadvantages. Truly, the American society is a hybrid culture borne of other cultures in the world.
Joseph B and Arthur V. The American Society: The Welfare State and beyond. New York: Princeton Inc Press. 1997. Print.
Lewis L. Money and Class in America. Oxford: Bulletined Book Publishers. 1989. Print.
George B. 1967. The Last Year of Malcolm X: The Evolution of a Revolutionary. New York: Pathfinder Press.
Downing L. To See the Promised Land: The Faith Pilgrimage of Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: Mercer University Press. 1986.
Howard B. Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston. New York: Routledge Print. 2002.