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    Nicaragua: Door in Granada. Go Now!

    Nicaragua
    Mystery abounds behind every door in Nicaragua, including the historic cultural city of Granada (pictured). Go Now!

  • United States!

    United States: Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Go Now!

    United States
    Explore the vast openness and wildlife found roaming in the western United States, including Theodore Roosevelt National Park (pictured) in North Dakota. Begin Your Journey!

  • Trinidad & Tobago!

    Trinidad & Tobago: Beautiful Coastline. Go Now!

    Trinidad & Tobago
    These Caribbean islands mix Indian, African, and European cultures alongside beautiful beaches. Go Now!

  • Cuba!

    Cuba: Sandy beach. Go Now!

    Cuba
    Many people fear the unknowns of Cuba, but the history, culture, food, and impressive beaches lure many visitors every year. Explore Cuba!

  • Guatemala!

    Guatemala: Colorful culture. Go Now!

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    Colorful Guatemala offers something for every visitor: great food, ancient Mayan ruins, and pristine beaches. Go Now!

  • Jamaica!

    Jamaica: Pristine beach. Go Now!

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    Jamaican culture is about relaxation, great foods, friendly competition, and so much more. A good place to start is on the beach. Begin Your Journey!

Culture & Identity of the United States of America

Introduction

American Culture - Hawai'ian Wood Carver
Hawai'ian Wood Carver

The way of life in the United States is quite varied from individual to individual. Competition drives many of the people as work is the center of life, while for others family or faith dominate the daily routine and is the center of life. The country is a land of extremes in nearly every direction, but most people fall somewhere in the middle as most people share a similar way of life.

For most people in the United States the daily routine is based on work; not because everyone is a workaholic, but rather because work is a way of life in the country and for many people working is a way to support their family and give their children opportunities. Few people today work in agriculture, although nearly all occupations exist in the country. Many people work in manufacturing, professional jobs, sales, and other services sectors. For many of these people life revolves around a regularly scheduled work day. For many people this means working from about 8:00 am to about 5:00 pm.

American Culture - Rodeo in Utah
Rodeo in Utah

Many people also have children as family is very important to most American. Many schools start early, usually at about 7:30 so parents can drop their kids off at school or get them on the bus prior to heading off for work. Schools generally let out at about 2:30 or 3:30 pm. Some kids partake in after school activities like sports or social clubs, while others go to day care, head to a grandparent's house, or are simply picked up by a parent who doesn't work or only works part time.

Although many people have evening and night shift jobs, most Americans with families have these times free and for many these times are spent with children, perhaps doing school work, participating in a sport, or just watching TV or playing video games.

American Culture - Bikers in Colorado
Bikers in Colorado

However, the above is just one example of many ways of life in the United States. For others evening shifts are common, for many young people more time is spent with friends out in town than with family, and for many couples without children time is spent in the home or out with friends. In other words, there is no normal, but many people's lives do have a regular routine, even if that routine is different from the above.

Most Americans make enough money to have some discretionary income. This helps people enjoy their time off, but again how people spend their free time is very different. Traveling, sports, buying new technology and various forms of entertainment are common items that are enjoyed by the people. One dream of many Americans though is to own their own home, which is what many people save for, and may pay for years. However, for most people this is worth the effort.

Identity

Americans prioritize how they identify in thousands of ways from first seeing themselves as a member of a religious group, by the color of their skin, by their language, by their ethnicity, or as a member of their city, state, or nation. When abroad most Americans will first identify as being an American, which is wholly a politically-defined term indicating citizenship; in fact, as soon as any immigrant receives their citizenship they are considered an American. Within the United States itself, few people identify as Americans above all else (although there are a substantial number that do). Instead, it is more common to find people that will first identify by some trait or characteristic that they find to be most important to them individually; this can be by race, religion, or the place a person is from. Despite these many differences in how Americans identify, nearly everyone also identifies as an American, which is a very important factor in keeping the country united as this political connection is the only commonality many people have with each other.

This page was last updated: May, 2014