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1、Culture Lecturer: Qin JieAimsGet to know about the American DreamGet to know about the US cultureThe American DreamIn the United States there is a belief. It goes that people are rewarded for working, producing, and achieving. Many people believe that there is equality of opportunity. It allows anyo

2、ne to become successful. The American DreamThis belief is illustrated by stories written by a 19th-century American novelist, Horatio Alger. He wrote about the “American Dream”. In his stories he described poor people who became rich because of hard work, honesty & luck. Recommended movieThe stories

3、 reinforced the idea. The idea is that all individuals, no matter how poor, were capable of becoming wealthy as long as they were honest and hard-working.For many Americans, however, Horatio Algers “rags-to-riches” stories do not represent the reality of opportunity. Today, the poor generally do not

4、 rise to the middle & upper classes. That is why the “American Dream” is now described as a myth.Many young people from poor families struggle along on limited budgets in order to stay in school because they know that a college degree brings higher income, greater job security, more prestige, & a mo

5、re significant career.American dreams embodied in education1. Public education should be free.2. Schooling should be equal and open to all.3. The public schools should be free of any creed or religion.4. Public schools are controlled by the state and the local governments.5. Attendance at school is

6、compulsory.6. Schooling should be enriched and not just confined to the fundamentals.Task: Discuss the following viewpoints A. Parents: “They are our kids. We know what is best for them. We should decide what they learn and how they are taught.”B. Teachers: “What do parents know? We have been to col

7、lege. We are the ones with the special training. We should make the decisions.”C. Government officials: “We have the best view of the issues. We know the budget and we understand the laws and how the apply. Only we can make the best decisions.”D. Religious authorities: “Schools that teach facts but

8、no values weaken the moral strength of the country. We can provide the wisdom and insight on which all teaching should be based.”E. University experts: “We have studied the problems and done the research. We should be consulted before any decisions are made.”F. Children: “It is our lives and educati

9、on that are at stake. No decisions should be made without our advice and agreement. Crime and punishmentLaw enforcement in the US is primarily the responsibility of local police, with state police providing broader services. Federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation has specialize

10、d duties. State courts conduct most criminal trials; federal courts handle certain designated crimes as well as appeals from state systems.Among developed nations, the US has above-average levels of violent crime and particularly high levels of gun violence and homicide. Though it has been abolished

11、 in most Western nations, capital punishment is sanctioned in the United States for certain federal and military crimes, and in thirty-seven states. In 2006, the country had the sixth highest number of executions in the world, following China, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, and Sudan. In December 2007, New J

12、ersey became the first state to abolish the death penalty since the 1976 Supreme Court decision. Culture The United States is a multicultural nation. There is no American ethnicity; aside from the Native American and Hawaiian populations, nearly all Americans or their ancestors immigrated within the

13、 past five centuries. The culture held in common by most Americans is referred to as mainstream American culture, largely derived from the traditions of Western European migrants. German, Irish, and Scottish cultures have also been very influential. Culture Certain cultural attributes of slaves from

14、 West Africa were adopted by the American mainstream. Westward expansion integrated the Creoles and the Hispanos of the Southwest and brought close contact with the culture of Mexico. Culture Large-scale immigration in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries from Southern and Eastern Europ

15、e introduced many new cultural elements. More recent immigration from Asia and Latin America has had broad impact. The resulting cultural mix may be described as a homogeneous melting pot, or as a pluralistic salad bowl in which immigrants retain distinctive cultural characteristics. Culture While t

16、he mainstream culture holds that the United States is a classless society, scholars identify significant differences between the countrys social classes, affecting socialization, language, and values. Culture Americans self-images, social viewpoints, and cultural expectations are associated with the

17、ir occupations to an unusually close degree. Though the perception that Americans enjoy high social mobility plays a key role in attracting immigrants, some analysts find that the United States has less social mobility than Western Europe and Canada.Culture In 2005, 28% of households were married ch

18、ildless couples, the most common arrangement. The extension of marital rights to homosexuals is contentiousseveral states permit civil unions in lieu of marriage. American cultural icons: apple pie, baseball, and the American flag Popular media The worlds first commercial motion picture exhibition w

19、as given in New York City in 1894. Since the early 20th century, the U.S. film industry has largely been based in and around Hollywood, California. Popular media American screen actors like Marilyn Monroe have become iconic figures. The major film studios of Hollywood have produced the most commercially successful movies in history, such as Star Wars and Titanic, and the products of Hollywood today dominate the global f

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