Authored by Emma Moore

Cultural Diffusion

Culture is commonly defined as a particular group's mode of life. This encompasses the social connotations of several features of life like religion, language, ethnicity, and mode of dressing. Cultural diffusion can be defined as the process of spreading cultural traits from one particular society to another. America has conventionally been denoted as a tossed salad with persons of many different backgrounds, nations, races, and religious convictions all chasing after the American Dream. To immigrants, this dream holds the promises of new opportunities and an enhanced way of life. Early American history is based on the waves of immigrants who transported their own ethos and customs to a new and foreign land. Initially, America was assumed to be a melting pot of different cultures. This meant that varied backgrounds, tenets and religious convictions were working together as one big society instead of distinct entities. Therefore, in this sense, America could be regarded as a tossed salad.

No other country in the world has such a diverse population as America . It is this diversity that makes the United States of America what it is today. According to Miller, cultural diffusion is moving in the direction of multiculturalism instead of assimilation. The "melting pot" allegory has given way to novel metaphors like "salad bowl". These new metaphors refer to the mixture of several cultures without the loss of individual characteristics distinctive of these cultures. In essence, the cultures of different immigrants within the United States are not being amalgamated together into one "pot". Instead, they are transforming the American society into a truly culturally diverse community.

Rather than a melting pot that simmers all the variances between cultures, America is a tossed salad with distinctive fragments of cultural heritage evidently observable and complete. These fragments of heritage are regularly branded with hyphens, for example, Irish-American, Italian-American, African-American, Jewish-American, Muslim-American, and so on. These groups still tend to rely on their diverse ethnic backgrounds and dogmas while living in America. This is despite the fact that they are accorded the rights and privileges enjoyed by American citizens. Furthermore, these cultural groups residing in America have transported their diverse cultures as observed by the imprint they have left on almost every town and city in the United States of America.

Cultural diffusion in terms of sports can be seen by the assimilation of soccer, which is believed to have originated from England into American society. Soccer, referred to as football in other countries has gained popularity in the USA and is now commonly played and enjoyed by Americans of all ages. Another instance of cultural diffusion is witnessed in the Southern cities, especially border towns where signs are written in both Spanish and English.

Another example of cultural diffusion is the incorporation of Chinese cuisine into the American society. The rapidly growing Asian population in the United States has seen the expansion and opening of Chinese restaurants in the majority of towns and cities. One reason for the popularity of Chinese cuisine among Americans is that they like the taste of Chinese dishes such as stir-fry food. Secondly, they appreciate how fast meals are whipped up in Chinese restaurants. Finally, most Americans believe Chinese cuisine is a healthy alternative to American fast food.

In conclusion, America is a magnificent country. However, without the various cultures that form the fabric of the American society, it would have been impossible to turn it into the diverse society it is today.

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