American culture - Part 3
American culture includes both conservative and liberal elements, scientific and religious competitiveness, political structures, risk taking and free expression, materialist and moral elements - American culture introduction. Despite certain consistent ideological principles (e.g. individualism, egalitarianism, and faith in freedom and democracy), American culture has a variety of expressions due to its geographical scale and demographic diversity. It also includes elements that evolved from Indigenous Americans, and other ethnic cultures—most prominently the culture of African Americans, cultures from Latin America, and Asian American cultures. Many American cultural elements, especially from popular culture, have spread across the globe through modern mass media. The United States has often been thought of as a melting pot, but beginning in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it trends towards cultural diversity, pluralism and the image of a salad bowl instead. Due to the extent of American culture, there are many integrated but unique social subcultures within the United States.
The cultural affiliations an individual in the United States may have commonly depend on social class, political orientation and a multitude of demographic characteristics such as religious background, occupation and ethnic group membership. By and large, Americans value the ideals of individual liberty, individualism, self-sufficiency, altruism, equality, Judeo-Christian morals, free markets, a republican form of government, democracy, populism, pluralism, feminism, and patriotism. (Americans often believe that their patriotism has nuances that differentiate it from nationalism and nationalism’s negative connotations). The types of food served at home vary the most and depend upon the region of the country and the family’s own cultural heritage. Americanized versions of these cultural foods, such as American Chinese cuisine, sometimes appear. Recent immigrants tend to eat food similar to that of their country of origin. Families that have lived for a few generations in the U.S. tend to eat some combination of that and the food common to the region they live in or grew up in, such as New England cuisine, Midwestern cuisine, Southern cuisine, Tex-Mex cuisine, and Californian cuisine.
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