- Навигация по данной странице:
- THE UNITED STATES - NATION OF IMMIGRANTS
- THE UNITED STATES CULTURE AND AMERICAN IDENTITY
- AMERICAN CULTURAL TRAITS
- AMERICAN ENGLISH
- U.S. EDUCATION
- TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN THE UNITED STATES
As of July 2014, the U.S. population is 318,662,000 people including an approximate 11.2 million illegal immigrants. In 1967, 200 million lived in the U.S. and the 100 million - around 1915, in 1900 - about 76 million.
The U.S. population growth rate reflects 13.42 births and 8.15 deaths per 1,000 people. The U.S. population growth rate is 0.77% (2014 est.). Total fertility rate in the U.S. is 2.01 children born/woman (2014 est.). Life expectancy is high: 79.56 years
The U.S. has a very diverse population. The ethnical distribution of the U.S. population on the U.S. territory is as follows:
African American 12%,
Asian American 5%
Native American and Alaska Native 1%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander 0.2%
Multiracial 2% (2012)
The population growth of Hispanic or Latino Americans is a major current demographic trend. 46.9 million Americans of Hispanic descent are identified as sharing a distinct "ethnicity" by the Census Bureau; 64% of Hispanic Americans are of Mexican descent.
The growing American economy has always required a lot of workforce which could be reached both by the increase of the birth rate and by attracting immigrants. The Census Bureau estimates that the U.S. population will grow from 300 million in 2006 to 397 million in 2050 with expected immigration, but only to 328 million with zero immigration. The American population will eventually begin to shrink with zero immigration and today's low birthrates.
The vast majority of Americans trace their ancestry to one or more of immigrant groups. 7 % of population identify themselves as Americans only.
Native Americans are the only indigenous peoples of America. By 1492, about 18 million people inhabited North America. According to 2003 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, 2,786,652 Native Americans live in the United States.
Between 1619 and 1808, about 500,000 Africans were brought to the colonies as slaves. On the eve of the Civil war, there were 1.5 million black slaves. Now Afro-Americans make 12.85% of the U.S. population.
The Germans were the largest 19th century immigrant group, more than 5 million people left Germany for the U.S.
Between 1820 and 1860, the Irish constituted over one third of all immigrants to the United States.
In the 1880’s, Italian immigrants numbered 300,000; in the 1890’s - 600,000; in the decade after that, more than 2 million.
Over 200,000 Russians entered America between 1881 and 1890, and over 1.5 million between 1901 and 1910. More than 2 million fled the country after the October revolution.
In the 19th century, 25,000 Chinese immigrants and 400,000 Japanese men and women left their homes for the U.S.A.
Millions of poor Mexicans have entered the country in recent years, along with more than 1 million Puerto Ricans. Now the top points of immigrants’ origin are Mexico (57,000), the Philippines (55,000), Vietnam (49,000), the Dominican Republic (32,000), and China (29,000).
The growing undocumented immigrant population of the U.S.A. is estimated to be between 9 and 10 million.
American culture can be interpreted as being largely based on Western culture and English culture, with influences from the Native American peoples and Africans brought to the U.S. as slaves, and other more recent immigrants. In the course of its history, American culture has been enriched by the values and belief systems of virtually every part of the world, simultaneously it forged and developed its own values and beliefs.
American culture developed and matured in the course 19-20th centuries, the ideas of assimilation are opposed today to multiculturalism. Whichever theory is right, the democracy of the United States lets both the multicultural and the melting-pot approaches to be equally represented and exercised in immigrant communities.
American culture becomes more democratic, more uniform and profit-oriented. The U.S. becomes a trend setter in many spheres of life, especially the cultural aspect. At the same time many Americans exhibit ethnocentric or insular outlooks, with little interest in the culture or political developments of other countries.
English is another American cultural export which is conquering the globe. Globalization is to a certain degree related to the spread of English as a medium of worldwide linguistic interaction, whose intra and international functions keep increasing everyday.
The U.S. culture encompasses traditions, ideals, customs, beliefs, values, arts, folklore and innovations developed both domestically and imported via colonization and immigration. Through modern mass media and by means of American English, many American cultural elements, especially popular culture, have been exported across the globe where American culture is both accepted and resented.
The American Dream is the faith held by many in the U.S.A. and by all new-comers that through hard work, courage, and determination one can achieve financial prosperity.
Most of all Americans value freedom. The notion that America offers freedom for all is an ideal that unifies Americans and links present to past. Americans regard their society as the freest and best in the world.
Nearly every American would agree upon individual freedom as the cornerstone of American values. Individualism, understood as self-reliance and economic self-sufficiency, has been a central theme in American history.
Directly associated with the value of freedom is the idea of progress. The nation’s progress has been measured by the taming of the frontier and industrial expansion. In the immigrant society, progress is personally measured as a family progress over generations.
American patriotism is concentrated upon the particular historic event of the nation’s creation as a new start and upon the idea of freedom which inspired the nation’s beginnings.
Survival experiences explain the American tendency to idealize whatever is practical. The “can-do” spirit is something Americans are proud of today.
The pragmatism of Americans and their trust in an abundance of resources relates to the American habit of mobility. Mobility in America is a sign of optimism.
The right to privacy is a notion that runs deep in American culture, the notion of individual privacy makes it difficult for Americans to make friends and adapt to other cultures’ customs and habits.
Americans are taught to be open and direct. If they think you aren‘t being open and honest with them, then they may believe you are hiding something. They may be quite uncomfortable dealing with individuals who are reserved and less direct. Many Americans equate directness with trustworthiness.
Americans often speak fairly loudly compared to speakers from other cultures, because they believe it is important to be assertive. If Americans believe they have been wronged, they think it necessary to let their feelings show. Stand your ground is common advice in an unfair situation.
As a low-context culture, Americans don't have many set routines for particular situations. Formality seems undemocratic to them. Americans believe that formality is "un-American" and a show of arrogance and superiority. Americans dislike the rituals of etiquette. Easy manners contribute to the fluidity of American society. A casual, egalitarian attitude between people is more accepted.
Informality penetrates American culture. The forms of the language do not change when Americans address a superior, as they do in many languages. People dress casually as much as possible. Americans use slang in nearly all circumstances. Americans slouch in chairs, lean against walls, and put their feet on desks. American degree of casualness leaves a lot of room for confusion. Americans are very open on the outside remain forever impenetrable on the inside.
Relaxing is precisely what Americans are not very good at. It doesn't fit in with their belief in progress. Americans take the utilitarian philosophy seriously, which is that only useful activities are valuable, meaningful, and moral. Unproductive activity is therefore useless, meaningless, and immoral.
Because of the emphasis on the individual, Americans can be quite competitive. There is a more fluid class system in the U.S. than in traditional cultures. Hard work, when coupled with greater earnings, is rewarded with a rise in social class. It is possible to work your way to the top in America. Americans value action and will generally keep very busy schedules. As the saying goes, work is a virtue, and idleness is a sin.
If there is anything that warms the American heart, it is efficiency. Efficiency is a virtue in the U.S. Americans believe that work is morally right; that it is immoral to waste time. There is more emphasis on "doing" rather than "being". Americans are a monochromic culture; they operate according to schedules, doing one thing at a time. Sticking to the schedule is more important than the human interruptions to it.
Protestantism stressed the work ethic and the responsibility of the individual for his own success or failure in life.
There are numerous people who claim, "My friends are my family.” But those who claim to rely on their friends usually are highly independent, with good health and sound finances. You know, even the best of friends are keeping track of favors. Your sorrows are not their sorrows.
Americans are a most litigious people, and they prefer to believe that there is always a responsible party for every event in life.
American cuisine in itself is not bad. American cooks have an abundance of fresh ingredients and a heritage of marvelous regional dishes. But all dishes are available ready made.
The American viewpoint on religion is paradoxical. In public life few people dare admit to having no religious belief at all. In the U.S., about 80% of the population describe themselves as Christians; 2% are Jewish, 4% are "other" - Buddhist, various Eastern religions, Muslims, etc. - unaffiliated - 12.1%, and 4% claim no religion.
The U.S. has no official language at the federal level. Only 30 states have passed legislation making English the official language. Spanish has the official status in the commonwealth of Puerto Rico and there are several enclaves throughout the country in which Spanish is the primary spoken language.
Much seems contradictory in American life. Freedom of the press has not produced a well-informed public. Despite American wealth, there are people sleeping in the streets. Americans are friendly, but neighbors don't stop to chat. Supplied by the world's richest farmlands, America's cuisine leaves much to be desired. The social commentator Paul Goodman wrote, "America has a high standard of living of low average quality."
The history of AE counts more than three centuries. The English language first came to North America at the beginning of the 17th century. The first (early) period (beginning of the 17th – end of the 18th centuries) is characterized by the formation of American dialects of the English language. The second period (19th - 20th centuries) is characterized by the creation of American variant of the English language.
American English (AE) differs from British English (BE) in vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar and spelling.
Native American languages were one of the strongest forces to shape the language in the New World.
Hollanders, Germans, Spaniards, Italians and French contributed many very important words to AE.
American English today carries in itself characteristic features of various ethnicities. It is the most powerful instrument which cements the persistence and the strength of the national idea.
When colonists from Europe first arrived in America, they chose the town school as a means which would preserve their cultural heritage. School became an Americanizing agent for the massive numbers of new immigrants.
The U.S. Constitution placed the authority over education and the responsibility for organizing and administering it in the hands of the states, agencies and institutions within the states.
Education in the United States comprises three basic levels: elementary, secondary and higher education (tertiary).
There are no mandatory public preschool or crèche programs in the U.S. But all students must attend mandatory schooling starting with 1st grade and following through 12th grade.
In high school, students obtain much more control of their education, and may choose their core classes. Larger schools may offer a selection of courses aimed at three or more levels — academic, vocational and general.
Most high and middle schools have classes known as honors classes for motivated and gifted students, where the quality of education is usually higher and much tougher.
Under the No Child Left Behind Act, all American states must test their students statewide to ensure that they are achieving the desired level of minimum education. College-bound students generally take college admission tests during their last two years of high school. These tests are administered by the privately operated Educational Testing Service (ETS) and American College Testing Program (ACT), and are mostly multiple-choice. The SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) and ACT are the most common standardized tests that students take when applying to college.
Postsecondary education in the United States is known as college or university which consists of achieving a bachelor's degree (4 years of study) and 4 years later master's degree. Three or more years after the completion of a master's degree, students may earn a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or other doctoral degree. Entrance into postgraduate programs usually depends upon a student's undergraduate academic performance as well as their score on a standardized entrance exam like the GRE (graduate schools in general), the LSAT (law), the GMAT (business), or the MCAT (medicine).
The United States students have a choice between free taxpayer-funded public schools and private schools. Private schools charge varying rates depending on geographic location and religious status.
American colleges and universities are somewhat status-conscious. But the status ladder is controversial. There is no absolute correlation between prestige and quality of education, and most schools are better in some areas than in others.