United States Boys' Clothes: Society


Figure 1.--

Fahion is intrincially linked with society and culture. The relationships are often not fully understood. This especially true in modern times, but even in histical period, these interelationships hve not been fully assessed, in part because historians have often looked on such matters as trivial. We have noted in building HBC that many foreign readers believe they have a good understanding of America, even those who have never visited America or met Americans. This is primarily American media, television and movies is almost unavoidable. Most Americans have never seen a foreign television program. Most foreigners are familiar with numerous American television programs, not to mention movies. This exposure gives many the impression that they are familiar with American culture. In fact, the American media convets many misleading impressions.

Media

One topic that HBC believes needs to be addressed is that many people around the world believe they understand America. We have noted in building HBC that many foreign readers believe they have a good understanding of America, even those who have never visited America or met Americans. This is primarily American media, television and movies is almost unavoidable. Images of America are everywhere--especialyy television and the movies. Yet I find many of the ideas held overseas about America are eroneous or incomplete. Most Americans have never seen a foreign television program. Most foreigners are familiar with numerous American television programs, not to mention movies. This exposure gives many the impression that they are familiar with American culture. In fact, the American media convets many misleading impressions.

Religion

America media gives the impression that rligion is a force of little importance in American life. The charcters in important series are rarely if ever pictured in church or involved in any religious devotion. In fact, America is the most religious country in the Western world. About half of all Americans regularly go to church or other house of worship--a far higher proportion thn common in any European country. This is reflected in both American cultural and political life. Fundamentalist Christians are a potent political force in many states. Attorney General Ashcroft demonstrated the prudishnes of Americans when he draped statutes in the Separtment of Justice. The whole blow up over President Clinto and Monika Lewinski would probably not have ocurred in Europe. In France, President Mitterrand had a daughter with his mistress. A French reader descripes the incident, "This relationship was well known. He was not looked down on in the popular mind. We consider that to have been his own private life. It didn't need to be discussed in private. For us French, the principal question was if he was a good or a bad father? In fact he was a very good father. That was the principal point for his reputation."

Provincial


Isolationism


Violence

American media often emphazies violence. While the media certainly over emphsizes violence, it is true that America is a more violent society than is the case of most other modern industrial societies. There are a variety of reasons for this, but perhaps the most significant cause is the widespread possession and use of guns in the United States.

Materialism

Many Europeans believe that Americans are consumed by materialistic concerns. A European reader writes, "We are concerned when we view the role of money in American life, especilly to the detriment of moral values."




Christopher Wagner





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Created: October 17, 2002
Last updated: October 17, 2002