Analysis of the Term “American Exceptionalism” in the Current U.S. Culture

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By pdrtpw1
Words 799
Pages 4
Analysis of the
Term “American Exceptionalism” in the Current U.S. Culture
A Reflections Paper

Analysis of the
Term “American Exceptionalism” in the Current U.S. Culture American Exceptionalism refers to the idea that the United States is significantly different from other countries. The concept has origins in the writings of French scholar Alexis de Toqueville who made observations during his visit to America in the nineteenth century (Mansfield, 2011). Also, Puritan John Winthrop's 1630 sermon "A Model of Christian Charity" led to the widespread belief in American folklore that the United States of America is God's country because it would become a "city upon a hill", watched by the world (John Winthrop: "A Modell of Christian Charity", 2007). Although the term does not necessarily imply superiority, many political leaders and writers have coined its use in that sense. Naturally, others hold the position that America is not really exceptional at all. In fact, after taking a cursory glance at some of the issues that our leaders are charged to correct, we can easily peel off the loftier label and replace it with a more humbling phrase. To begin, America’s hunger issue is a strong reason to reduce our loftier standing. It is not impressive that in a country without drought or famine and with enough food and money to feed the world twice over 1-in-8 of our own people struggle to put food on its table (Berg, 2009). Also, in 2010, 4.8 percent of all U.S. households (5.6 million households) accessed emergency food from a food pantry one or more times (Hunger & Poverty Statistics). Reducing these numbers will be an exceptional task. The crime problem in the U.S. also keeps the country from meriting a prouder classification over other nations. One cause is its readiness to lock up its citizens. Consider that one American adult in 100 is behind bars…...

Similar Documents

U.S and Polish Culture

...1. Discuss the cultural differences, risks, and difficulties of working in Poland compared to the U.S. Culture is the most influential factors in the human life which have deep impacts on the personal behavior. Here in this case same things happen where two different culture believer clash with each other in the working place. The cultural system in America is more focused on individualism. Due to those factors American people work hard to climb up in the upper position in the work place therefore they thrive in any types of work environment and anywhere in the world. Writer, LisaHoecklin (P1, 2012) explains about the American culture and its success. “People in individualistic cultures emphasize their success/achievements in job or private wealth and aiming up to reach more and/or a better job position. Especially in the USA the fight about jobs and trying to climb up in the hierarchy ladder is something very common there. It just counts to get there less caring who will leave behind one. In business they try to improve their connections and to gain more value out of them, not for establishing a good relationship but just to be involved in a calculative way.” The Polish culture focuses more on community or organization rather than individuals where in another term we can define as relationship driven culture. Therefore, in these circumstances American employees more enjoy the competition within the organization between the workers where as their counterpart emphasizes......

Words: 1484 - Pages: 6

American Culture

...My Definition of American Culture Each individual has his own definition of American culture. While some may focus on freedom and liberty others might identify more with technology, sports, or music. The United States is composed of a multitude of diverse individuals each from a different background. With all these human beings coming together each brings his own traditions and customs to further mold American culture. As an immigrant, the American dream is synonymous with American culture. For generations many immigrants have been talking of this particular dream and how it is achieved. Foreigners as well as Americans all have the mentality that they can make their dreams come true. For this reason, America is often called the Land of Opportunity. Many immigrants are aware of this concept and in result they decide to pack up their lives, leave their families behind, and move to the United States in search of a better life. The concept that one can achieve anything he puts his mind to is extremely alluring to many individuals. As an outsider looking in, I see firsthand how great of an advantage it is to be living in the U.S. While living in Romania I knew I had to fight for a better life and even then I might not succeed. Seeing everyone struggle around me has motivated me to get an education and excel in my future. My parents made the decision to move to the States for one purpose. That purpose was the American Dream. Back home we kept hearing about this......

Words: 456 - Pages: 2

Current Events and U.S. Diplomacy

...How Did John F. Kennedy Deal With Cuba? Leslie Doughty Professor Nettles Augusta POL 300 July 29, 2013 Strayer University John F. Kennedy was the first American president born in the 20th century. The Cold War and the nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union were vital international issues throughout his political career. His inaugural address stressed the contest between the free world and the communist world, and he pledged that the American people would "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, and oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty." (Roskin, 2010). Cold War rhetoric dominated the 1960 presidential campaign. Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard M. Nixon both pledged to strengthen American military forces and promised a tough stance against the Soviet Union and international communism. Kennedy warned of the Soviet's growing arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles and pledged to revitalize American nuclear forces. He also criticized the Eisenhower administration for permitting the establishment of a pro-Soviet government in Cuba. (Roskin, 2010). Before his inauguration, JFK was briefed on a plan drafted during the Eisenhower administration to train Cuban exiles for an invasion of their homeland. The plan anticipated that support from the Cuban people and perhaps even elements of the Cuban military would lead to the overthrow of Castro and the...

Words: 1266 - Pages: 6

American Culture

...American Culture Teresa Grass BUS 610: Organizational Behavior Instructor: Gary Gentry Date: September 2, 2013 The United States of America as we know of to be home of the brave and land of the free. The United States of America landscape is quiet luxurious and seldom defined as purple mountain majesties. Among all the celebrated images these are just a few linked to the culture of the U.S. The culture of a country is conducted in many techniques starting with migration and recruitment. The culture of American came from a group of dissimilar individuals consisting of much political encouragement, morals, and many religions. The U.S. is customarily known as culture of Western that is made of an majority of Anglo which considered a Western culture that consists of an Anglo majority which overcomes economically and politically. The culture of the British is really the foundation of the U.S. with encouragement from Asian Americans, African Americans, indigenous individuals and Europe. Because of the majority of the culture of the U.S. there are many integrated yet exclusive subcultures that occur within America (Frost, n.d.).  The espoused values of the U.S. the level that is linked with the culture of Americans consist of the variety of individuals that share espoused values that are openly including philosophies, goals, and strategies. The principles and conduct are communicated with characteristic of their specific kind of age, moral, and social groups.......

Words: 778 - Pages: 4

The Rise of Cultural Exceptionalism implement their own religious and cultural values at home without foreign interference. Leaders in Kabul insist that they not be judged by the norms of others -- especially in the West. Of course the Taliban are not the only ones to reject outside scrutiny. Florida's government, after frying several prisoners in a faulty electric chair, has only reluctantly turned to other methods of execution to conform to the U.S. Constitution's prohibition of "cruel and unusual punishment." Yet when America's Western allies tell it that the U.S. system of capital punishment is barbaric, local politicians and courts reply that it is their way and no one else's business. Which is precisely what the Taliban say. This is not to indulge in what Jeane Kirkpatrick, a former U.S. permanent representative to the U.N., has called the "sin of moral equivalence." The United States is not Afghanistan. What the Islamic fundamentalist regime is doing there violates well-established global law. Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) echoes the U.S. Constitution in proclaiming that "no one shall be subject to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment," which certainly covers stoning and flogging -- but not execution by lethal injection or (functioning) electric chair. And the 1980 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) prohibits almost everything the Taliban have done to subordinate women. The......

Words: 4816 - Pages: 20

Analysis of African American Culture in the Health and Human Services

...1 An Analysis of African American Culture in the Health and Human Services Setting Introduction ​Communication has often been defined by scholar as the process by which people send messages and generate meanings across various contexts, cultures, and media. The process of communicating does not stop; it occurs cycle after cycle. Whether through verbal or non-verbal messages, the transaction takes place and is inevitable, named by scholars as The Principle of Communication Inevitability. Recognizing that communication will exist, whether intentional or not, it is important to understand the various areas of our life where communication may be vital to the success of the structure. One important area is focused on human welfare—medical, physical, emotionally, mentally, and financially—of children and adults. The method in which health and human service workers communicate with the people whom they serve is one that must be studied, implemented, and constantly improved. Health and human service workers are focused on the quality of life for an individual. They are not present to meet the wants out of life. The ultimate focus is rendering services that are conducive to one’s ability to live. Whether communicating good or bad news, professionals, patients, and clients have mutual responsibility for effective sending and receiving messages. People belong to certain demographics that shape who they are, how they feel, how they learn, their exposure to certain aspects of......

Words: 1993 - Pages: 8

U.S. Current Account Deficit

...Christoper The U.S. Current Account Deficit On-going political battles over U.S. government budgets, the Federal Reserve Bank's intimations that it might raise interest rates, even as sovereign-debtcrises in Europe remained unresolved, the Chinese and some other developing-country economiesseemed precarious are the worldwide economy overview in 2013. The role of the U.S. currentaccount deficit had receded into the background. In fact, the currentaccount deficit had declinedfrom an average of almost 5% of GDP from 2000 through 2007 to about 3% of GDP in 2011 and 2012. Much of the reason for that moderation was presumably not long-term: the slow U.S. growth hadreduced imports. The financial counterpart of the U.S. current account deficits was the continuingcapital inflow from abroad, as foreigners financed Americans' spending in excess of their income. Asthese inflows accumulated, the gap between U.S. holdings of foreign assets and foreign holdings ofU.S. assets (known as the net international investment position, or NIP) was sinking to anunprecedented nadir. Still balanced in 1985, the NIIP had reached an almost $4.0 trillion deficit in2012. Most U.S. policymakers had long downplayed the risks implied by the large current accountdeficit and net international investment position. They insisted that the deficit and NIIP simplyreflected the attractiveness of the U.S. economy as a destination for global investment. For example,the 2006 Economic Report of the President focused on......

Words: 964 - Pages: 4

Popular American Culture

...Popular American Culture Eleonora Gars SOC105/WH11ELC01 January 18, 2010 Byron Williams Popular American Culture Culture is the essential character of a society that distinguishes if from other societal groups. The underlying elements of every culture are the values, language, myths, customs, rituals, and laws that shape the behavior of the people, as well as the material artifacts, or products, of that behavior as they are transmitted from one generation to the next. Cultural values and influences are the ocean in which individuals swim, and yet most are completely unaware that it is where. What people eat, how they dress, what they think and feel, and what language they speak, are all dimensions of culture. For some cultural critics working with in the mass culture paradigm, mass culture is not just an imposed and impoverished culture, it is clear identifiable sense an imported American culture. “If popular culture in its modern from invented in any one place, it was….. in the great cities of the United States, and above all in New York. (Maltby, 1989)” This claim that popular culture is American culture has a long history within the theoretical mapping of popular cultures. It operates under the term Americanization. In its most basic form cultural imperialism comprises the assumption that one nation deliberately attempts to impose its culture, ideology, goods, and way of life on another country. In the United States, critics of cultural imperialism...

Words: 718 - Pages: 3

The Limits of Power and the End of American Exceptionalism

...The End of American Exceptionalism? The Limits of Power is a primary reading that was published in 2008 before the results of the presidential election was known. It was written by Andrew Bacevich who is a retired U.S. Army colonel and professor of history and international relations at Boston University. In the book Bacevich argues that the United States has been in a unique position since its inception. It has a large amount of inherent advantages, such as an abundance of natural resources and a lack of nearby external threats. Despite these advantages, he sees the United States as having embarked on a disastrous path of rampant consumption and attempted empire building that is corrupting and bankrupting the country, all while using American exceptionalism as a justification. When asked what American exceptionalism means in an interview shortly after his book was published Bacevich answered, “Well, this is not an idea that’s original with me. It’s clear that from the founding of the Anglo-American colonies, from the time that John Winthrop made his famous sermon and declared that “we shall be as a city upon a hill” a light to the world it’s clear that, from the outset, there has been a strong sense among Americans that we are a special people with a providential mission. In the twentieth century, probably going back to roughly the time of Woodrow Wilson, certainly since the end of the Cold War, this concept of a providential mission, a responsibility to the world, has...

Words: 1294 - Pages: 6

American Exceptionalism

...American Exceptionalism The idea of being superior or better than other nations is an interesting thought. It’s a thought that needs to be explored in a respectful way since many may feel it’s arrogant to call ourselves superior over others, but if it’s done the right way, I feel that there are many arguments that favor American exceptionalism. I found three arguments which I feel that support the belief of American exceptionalism. The first argument is freedoms. What does it mean to be free based on an immigrants view? I saw this quote by Hector St. John de Crevecoeur in which he said “The American is a new man, who acts upon new principles; he must therefore entertain new ideas and form new opinions. Here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men, whose labors and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world” (Brotter 1). I feel this quote describes one’s belief of what it means to be free, and how much it means to those that come to this country to help fight to keep those rights for all Americans. With so many immigrants from every corner of the world interested in becoming an American citizen. The only sensible conclusion would be that this country must be far superior to any other country in the world. My second argument is the nature of our government along with the political structure that works within it. To explore this argument, I begin with the effects of the American Revolution and what we were fighting for as well as the......

Words: 641 - Pages: 3

American Culture

...Post 1 Since the beginning of 21st century, Citizens of U.S are all in all more advantageous than at any other time as an aftereffect of mechanical advances, preventive pharmaceutical, and more extensive access to medicinal services; yet some ethnic and racial gatherings get poorer medical care, are not much healthier and do not hope to live the length of others. Insights show obvious contrasts in sickness occurrence, life expectancy and reasons for death crosswise over racial and ethnic gatherings. As per my opinion, racial gatherings are seen as physically discernible populaces that have a typical family line. Despite the fact that hereditary qualities and science represent a few parts of the variety in wellbeing status among ethnic and racial gatherings, sociology examination shows the effective impact on soundness of preventive conduct and risk taking, racist practices, social and monetary disparities, environments, groups and wellbeing strategy. These covering elements assume a noteworthy part in clarifying ethnic and racial differences in results related to health issues. Medicinal care framework of America has been depicted as "supplier-friendly" since many decades. Ethnic and racial partialities and practices are standardized in this framework and they habitually bring about unequal access to medicinal consideration, unequal treatment for comparative seriousness of diseases and conditions, and contrasts in heath protection insurance. Open approaches are......

Words: 625 - Pages: 3

American Exceptionalism

...American Exceptionalism is a belief that America is exceptional and does not conform to the norm. It is the uniqueness of our country which sets us apart from all of the rest. American Exceptionalism can be traced back to the 1830s when Alexis de Tocqueville who was the first to use the term “exceptional” to describe the United States and the American people in his class work Democracy in America. However, the idea of America as an exceptional entity can be traced back to the earliest colonial times. The idea American Exceptionalism has changed over the decades and many Americans in recent years do not believe in it. In the opinion editorial, “Decline of American Exceptionalism,” written by Charles M. Blow, he believes that Americans should realize what our nation has come to and to restore what was once the greatest country in the world. He also believes that people have fallen into deep pessimism about our country because the country is in “the start of a longer-term decline where the U.S. is no longer the leading country in the world.” (Blow) Even though America is known for opportunities arising and our hope for humanity, I believe that the belief of American Exceptionalism has changed because Americans have forgotten what it means and what it looks like. Therefore, American Exceptionalism will be gone unless, America as a whole takes the initiative to change the country back to its mighty state. For example, a country who once had everything the other countries......

Words: 643 - Pages: 3

Current Events and U.S. Diplomacy

...Current Events and U.S. Diplomacy Contemporary International Problems POL 300 March 4, 2012 The Reagan Doctrine was no different. Presupposing a world of evil and good, it operated on the theory that evil, was in the form of the USSR, and was getting the upper hand. To Reagan and his advisers, examples of Soviet treachery, including support for Marxist movements around the globe, were numerous; moreover, Soviet adventurism, from the Horn of Africa in the 1970s to Central America in the 1980s, showed no signs of lessening. Reagan was intent on stopping that trend—a trend, he believed, that President Carter had done little to reverse. Therefore, he adopted the vocabulary of the early Cold War, advocating policies equally aggressive and bold in range (Foreign Affairs). Reagan presented his vision at his State of the Union Address on February 6, 1985. "We must not break faith," he declared, "with those who are risking their lives—on every continent from Afghanistan to Nicaragua—to defy Soviet-supported aggression and secure rights which have been ours from birth." The president went on to compare anticommunist forces with American colonists who had fought the revolutionary war, relating those early patriots as "freedom fighters" for democracy. Providing aid to those groups was not only ethically just but geopolitically sensible. "Support for freedom fighters," Reagan declared, "is self-defense." It would be months before those......

Words: 3080 - Pages: 13

Current Affairs Term Paper

...CURRENT AFFAIRS AND HISTORICAL CONNECTIONS My view of studying history is that it is important for future generations to know where their ancestors have been and what they have accomplished in order to make future changes and developments in a society. I feel that without studying American history most industries would not be able to grow to meet the demands of modern day needs. Take for instance the computer industry and it’s progression in the last 40 years. My laptop that I’m writing this paper with has as much power, if not more than the computers used to put a man on the moon. That would not be possible if manufacturers did not look at ways to improve what they already have developed, which means they have to look back at what they have created in the past. Among other important reasons for studying American History would be subjects such as labor laws and social security. We as a society want to live better lives and improve the quality of our lives and so by looking at the past we can make changes in the future to benefit our future generations. In my view without studying history there would be no progressive future. I think many people have a negative view on studying history because they can’t seem to find a connection to how history relates or affects their lives. I believe that anyone can find something interesting to study in history. It’s just a matter of finding a way for them to connect with a subject on a personal or professional level. Maybe someone does...

Words: 2299 - Pages: 10

The Current Macroeconomic Situation in the U.S.

...The current macroeconomic situation in the U.S. right now is troublesome to many. The U.S. recently came out of a recession which many are arguing could have been a lot worse without government intervention, and we could be facing a double dip recession where we might be heading into a worse recession than we experienced during the last one. This is a macroeconomic problem since it is the entire economy that was affected. “As fears over recession mount, house prices slide, unemployment rises and millions fret over the cost of their mortgage (Besley, 2008).” The U.S. has been trying to overcome unemployment, and inflation, while fighting to stay out of another recession. In order to combat these government, and the Federal Reserve or the “feds” for short have different tools and policies to try and beat inflation, and recession. The “feds” get together every six weeks in a private meeting, and determine what to do with the economy. They try and keep a balance as to not have too much inflation, but also not head into a recession. Usually Congress is good at keeping the recession in check while the “feds” worry about inflation. The tools for fiscal policy are raising taxes, lowering taxes, and on whom. They can increase spending on the military, infrastructure, or decrease spending such as on public services or military bases. Another set of tools is on monetary policy such as reserve requirements, discount rates, open market operations, and printing money. The......

Words: 460 - Pages: 2

Frederick Douglass | New Arrivals | Wondershare PDFelement Pro 6.7.11