Talk:Society of the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject United States (Rated B-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject United States, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of topics relating to the United States of America on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the ongoing discussions.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
Note icon
This article has been marked as needing immediate attention.
WikiProject Sociology  
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Sociology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of sociology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
Archive 1

The Drugs section[edit]

The drugs section should mention the well-documented rise in abuse of prescription drugs in america over the past few years.

"Yes, it should. Then again this entire article is almost completely unreferenced and thus still quite far from being a GA-there is still a long way to go. Regards, SignaturebrendelHAPPY HOLIDAYS 23:08, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

The Economic Outlook section[edit]

I fixed absurd mis-spellings --- many, simple and careless misspellings --- and as I got into it I re-wrote more of the sentences, shortening and clarifying them; finally I made some small improvements on the very poor content.

I suspect the person who made those previous, very sloppy and poor edits, was a vandal or troll or hostile (don't know the wikipedia term for such). Notice that the only link created was to Ayn Rand (misspelled Ayan Rand), and several absurd characterizations of anarcho-capitalistic (misspelled anchro and such), while their attribution or failure of attribution showed a naive socialist perspective.

Of course the section needs a lot of work. Currently it grossly exaggerates the free market, libertarian characterization of America's economic cultural outlook. If Ayn Rand is going to be mentioned, then so should Keynes and FDR, Kennedy and Milton Friedman and Reagan and neo-classical economics. Also, citations / sources needed, including for the statements I added. Kirez 14:11, 17 December 2006 (UTC)kirez

Well the sections continued to be entirely unreferenced! You're right of course, all parts of the political strata are represented in the opinions of the American people and if you mention Ayn Rand you should also mention FDR or at least Bill Clinton's attempt to create an universal health care system. So, discussing Americas economic attitude is gargantuan task and I'm glad to see some improvement in that section. Nonetheless, we still need to finds some references. Happy editing, SignaturebrendelHAPPY HOLIDAYS 18:25, 17 December 2006 (UTC)


Can somebody put up a better picture? The U.S. is one of the world's leading fashion centers and that picture does not give american fashion justice.

POV issues with images[edit]

"WASP" is a perjorative to some.

In addition, no context is given in the maps associated with political affilications.

Is there a tag for POV on images?

What do mean no context is given for the maps- they illustrate the vast cultural differences discussed in the text by illustrating the nation's political divisiveness. WASP refers to the Anglo-Protestant culutre of the colonial days. The term is used by sociologist to refer to the 7% or so of old stock Americans and their culutre (The completely UK-derived culutre of 1777 is therefore described as WASP). Regards, SignaturebrendelHAPPY HOLIDAYS 16:50, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

main picture.[edit]

Aple pie, flag, and baseball.

I kinda agree, but it's a BIT stereotypical (Not trying to be nit-picky here)

But some people burn the flag in protest.

Some people HATE apple pie and think of america as something else.

And not EVERYONE likes baseball.

Correct me if i'm wrong in my suggestion but perhaps we should call them 'classical' icons?

Nateland 02:05, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes it is a stereotype. I'm a US citizen who does not like baseball myself (I do like apple pie though- dutch apple pie that is). Signaturebrendel 02:48, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

also, the adolescence section....... Don't go there, it says NOTHING about adolescence itself except for pov's from disputed experts in a fairly large edit war turned negotiations in the articles on

adolescent sexuality


sex education

and now this. These quotes have been cut & pasted from article to article to article to article.... BLAUGH AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Plus it should be a link to adolescence. NOT adolescent sexuality... that's pretty much saying adolescence in the united states is ALL ABOUT sexuality and the whole damned debate.

Could someone PLEASE add some info to this subsection OTHER than Leonard Sax's 'expert' views? It seems completely unfitting.

Ech, it goes on and on and on.... Illuminato must learn to rest his restless soul with the power of Lunesta

i think that the adolescence article should be about adolescence life......not simply rambling on about teen sex for the entire article, and the POV seemed totally biased againt it.Christopher W Culpepper 07:35, 27 January 2007 (UTC)


The education section has been tagged with a template claiming it does not cite its references our sources. Isn't it common knowledge amongst Americans (whom are most likely to be editing this article) that the grades (e.g. 6-7 thru 7-9 is middle school) work out this way? Any educational website could answer this. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:00, 31 January 2007 (UTC).

NPOV: Romantic relationships - Adolescents[edit]

I added an NPOV tag to this section, as the quotes, while well-cited, are hotly debated and frequently represent opinion rather than fact. Also, in looking into when and by whom this information was added, I found the same person put this section in as authored sweeping changes in several other articles on teen sexuality. Does the exact same set of paragraphs (or barely different versions of the same information) really need to be in a multitude of places? You may find your writing riveting and your citing of sources excellent (though an opinion, even stated by an expert, is still an opinion), however that doesn't mean you should duplicate information everywhere it might conceivably fit to help disseminate your obvious bias. I propose removing the Adolescents section here altogether and simply leaving the link to the main article in so any edit wars can go on in one place instead of several. However, I won't simply delete the information out of hand without at least some discussion first. Xentropy 21:52, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Reply: NPOV: Romantic relationships - Adolescents[edit]

I read through the Section and agree with Xentropy that the section is definitely POV. I checked through the sources, and many come from books that cite minority opinions, or opinions that are new and have not been fully discussed or validated. I think The section should be deleted here, and left in the origional article, presented as opinion instead of fact. Iterium 17:20, 22 February 2007

Very strongly agree. That section is pure propaganda, and should be removed. 00:20, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm in agreement with the above concerns. I've been battling this users additions to Wikipedia for months with VERY little progressive outcome. I will delete the section and AT LEAST TRY to add some information on United States adolescence that isn't biased. (Although most of it is)

Nateland 21:40, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

"Highly Diverse"[edit]

Its a term used too much in this article, it should focus on the culture of the United States, not the cultures. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 11:13, 15 March 2007 (UTC).

There is no such thing as one American culture, there are several cultures that share certain traits. Diversity is the essence of America. Diversity (in opinion, wealth, religion and ethnicity) is American culture. Signaturebrendel 23:47, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Diversity that seems to border on apartheid in my oppinion. Why not just delete this page and have a separate culture page for each state?

Becuause cultures don't run along geo-graphical boundaries. There are several cultures distriubted throughout all parts of the US. Signaturebrendel 14:28, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Reigons would be fine too. it just annoys me that you put everything together on one page rather than split it into sections that make sense


Let me get this straight...the only thing teens in the United States do is have sex? According to this article it is. That whole blurb on teenage sexuality should be a sentence or two and the rest of the section should touch on many aspects of teeneage life in the States. There is already an article on teenage sexuality in the's linked to in the section. Somewhere along the line this section got hijacked and no one has reverted it because it is cited. Cited or not it is way out of place--Looper5920 23:08, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

I've reverted it, but User:Illuminato, who has given many people a LOT of trouble reverted it back. And the main article it links to. That is an identical copied section from the MAIN article adolescent sexuality. Feel free to try and stop this madness. A merge proposal to get rid of the unwarranted spin-off articles adolescent sexuality in the United States and adolescent sexuality in Britain is underway at Talk:Adolescent sexuality
It needs to go, or to be trimmed down significantly. This is an article about the culture of the entire nation, and there is far too much about adolescent sexuality right now.--Cúchullain t/c 18:55, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
I've deleted it again. More information about adolescents can be added to the page, but not if it is going to be about only the sexuality of adolescents. In addition, the part that was deleted was heavily biased toward the viewpoint that adolescents who are sexually active are subsequently psychologically damaged. It would have required a substantial rewrite in order to be included. --Strangerer (Talk | Contribs) 21:05, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

about the five regions[edit]

hello —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 00:49, 17 April 2007 (UTC).


Is there any possibility to add a folklore section? Mentioning such people as John Henry, Paul Bunyan, and Pecos Bill, and the tall tales associated with such historical people as George Washington (chopping down the cherry tree), Davey Crockett (defending the Alamo) and Johnny Appleseed (planting apple seeds across the U.S.)

I mention this because it seems that every other country has a section devoted to folklore, and I think here it should be no exception. If you can think of any other early American folk heroes please add them as well. Laugh-O-Gram 15:09, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
It's a good idea but do people really pay attention to such folkloric icons like Paul Bunyan and John Henry nowadays? We learn about them in school and maybe remember John Henry when he was a baby sittin' on his mammy's knees, but that's about it.
A lot of our folklore about the old west is caught up in some slang that we use; ace-in-the-hole for example or dead-man's hand.
Then there's the newer folklores about for example Rosa Parks, or even Bill Gates, that capture some of the things about American culture I think.
For your question though, there's Ha-a-wa-tha(sp?) and maybe also the Salem Witch trials. -- 08:35, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
Isn't there an article about American folklore that could simply be linked to? Asarelah 22:56, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

"illicit drugs remain immensely popular."[edit]

We should change "illicit drugs remain immensely popular.", because the "immensely" modifier is highly subjective. To me, it sound as if a majority, or nearly a majority, of the U.S. population uses illegal drugs, which is untrue. Perhaps the statement could be replaced with an objective one, such as a percentage or the change in rate of drug use. Here are 2 possible sources:

Agreed the sentence is POV and using the word "immensely" in this context is completely inappropriate. Signaturebrendel 00:39, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

General Comment[edit]

This article largely did not go very far at all into what I had expected, which is the "cultural" narratives, values, trends and divisions of the United States. Most of this article deals with what I think most people would call "sociology," and in many places never really trandscends the nuts-and-bolts statistical run-down of the society at large.

I feel that the single most important theoretic debate about "culture" in the United States concerns the meaning and function of "ethnicities/ethnic," and to what extent American culture has been influenced by its European roots, or has evolved into something fundamentally non-European/non-British. This article does not even mention crucial books like Albion's Seed at all. This article is an unfocused summary of what is widely available through the US Census or a travel brochure. The clearest divisions in American culture (sectionalism and the "Culture War") is totally absent, as well as the interplay between ethnic Black-American/Appalachian music and cultures and its appropriation into the white mainstream culture. Neither the "Great Awakenings" theories on religion, nor Strauss and Howe's generational perspective on American history are present. Black-Americans are briefly portrayed as "receiving" all their culture from West-Africa only, neglecting any sense of "indigenousness" to both Black and white/rural Appalachian ethnic groups. vs. Pan-Africanism?

What is this article? There is no common thread or theoretical framework to identify or explain what has been claimed about an "American culture," no critical dissent offered against the "salad bowl" view. It is just a smattering of overviews about various aspects of American life, most of them sociological and socio-economic.

Yes the article is mostly "sociology" (which is the study of society!). Economics and political science as well as anthropology which are related to sociology constitute another large chunk. Quite frankly I cannot see how one can possibly discuss a society without discussing sociology, anthropology, economics and political science - these are the most prominent social sciences by which society is studied. No there isn't a thesis statement becuase this is not an essay and is not trying to make a point. It is an encyclopedia article mentioning the currently predominent academic theories on American culture (though obviously not all theories are included). Thus, the info here is available elsewhere (just open a social science textbook and look through Census data) - but please remember that we do not publish hypothesises here on WP nor do we conduct research; we are not a journal. This article should mostly be a collection of "overviews about various aspects of American life, most of them sociological and socio-economic." If you would like to add content, make sure you have sources that met WP:CITE criteria (college level textbooks are the prefered type of source). Considering that feel free to add "Strauss and Howe's generational perspective" - so long as you can cite it porperly. Thank you for showing an interest in Wikipedia, Signaturebrendel 05:16, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
"Sociology" and "Cultural Studies" are not one and the same. This is not ostensibly an article for "the study of a society" broadly, but defining the debates about the existance of a distinct American culture(s). Articles about Sports, Educational attainment, Healthcare, Languages and Class in the United States already exist. "American culture" is not just a summary of all these disparate topics, and "cultural studies" is not just the study of socioeconomics. So much more could be done with this article is all I'm saying.
Well, discussing culture and discussing society goes hand in hand. All individuals adhere to some sort of culture - this article is trying to cover the culture(s) to which the 300+ million people in the US adhere and as such does need to include "a summary of all these disparate topics... [and] socioeconomics." (afterall sociology and political economy is part of cultural studies) Of course, my main area of expertise is socio-economics and I see American culture/society through the eyes of a social scientist... so perhaps I am unaware of this article's deficency in taking a non-socio-politic-economic approach. I still beleive that providing an understanding socio-economics is of the essence here, but your point that the scope of this article ought to be expanded is duly noted. Best RegardsSignaturebrendel 05:42, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree that culture is largely shaped by socio-economic framework, or at least reacts to it in a dependent way. I'm an economics student as well, so I appreciate setting social science as a framework first. I certainly can't expand on cultural studies either; that's why I'm ranting about it here, and not on the article itself. =] Overall, it is a good article. But I feel there should be more concern to ethnic and ideological phenomena, both the "imported" and "indigenous" roots of the Culture Wars, history of American music, etc. And, yes, nothing is ever presented as a theory, but as an encyclopedic overview of the competing theories. If anyone is able to offer a more diverse body of material to reference on this page, I would encourage that they do, especially a substantial defense of the "salad bowl" perspective. I mention the Albion's Seed just because it's such a substantial source - and I disagree with it so strongly.
Overall, I believe that the socio-economic history of the United States differs greatly from Europe, and from this has emerged a distinct set of cultural patterns (vis-a-vis, religion, language/dialects, music, race, etc.). Since I don't really know what they are fully, I was expecting this article to touch those elements.
I understand, thanks for further elaborating your point a little further. I am glad that we both "appreciate setting social science as a framework first." Perhaps someone w/ a true passion for ethnic studies will answer your call and diversify the article. Best, Signaturebrendel 06:54, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Length of article[edit]

I thought it was surprisingly short in length, when one considers the potential Brobdingnagian nature that characterizes and comprises the topic of culture in the United States. The banner comment says, "This article MAY be too long"; this humble observer feels that the length may be just right! --PLK

Yeah, I agree. I'll remove the tag.--Cúchullain t/c 19:58, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

What about mentioning American art, American literature. American music , American film!!!!!!!!!-essential ingredients!!!! ♦ Sir Blofeld ♦ "Expecting you?" Contribs 15:11, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Why so much on political breakdowns?[edit]

There's undue weight on the red / blue distinction and how education is correlated to who vote for whom.

U.S. culture is much more than that.

-- 14:16, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it is "more than that" but please keep in mind that mentining ideological divisions within American society does need to be mentioned in this article. Considering the article's 100+ kb length I do not think that ideological divisions are granted an unproportional amount of space. Regards, Signaturebrendel 00:00, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
(same guy as above, my IP mighta changed) A quick scan of the article shows the redblue map, along with a nice (original research?) bar-chart showing CNN polls on education vs. Kerry / Bush. The "undue weight" cited above certainly includes the fact that there's two images about politics. Either one is noteworthy, although it's unclear to me whether a bar-graph of cited and citeable data is considered OR. (Is it? It's a different way of seeing the same data, but then again graphs can lie or stretch the truth.) I'm arguing that at least one should go. -- 14:37, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

NPOV: Work section[edit]

In the Work section there is a lengthy and highly irrelevant advertisement beginning with the lines, "The Institute for American Values, founded in 1987..." It was obviously contributed by a member of that organization because the section ends with instructions how to "receive a copy of our newsletter." The whole section about the Institute should be stricken, in my opinion; it has nothing to do with Work. 00:25, 8 September 2007 (UTC)Corey

No kidding. I removed the advertisement. Signaturebrendel 01:54, 8 September 2007 (UTC)


Are you people insane? You have an aloha shirt next to the article of, ' fashion ' here? NO ONE in their right mind would wear that shirt, except perhaps my Grandfather. I'd suggest it be changed right away, Fashion isn't tacky, and that certainly dosen't repersent the climate of Fashion in the US, where looks are everything. I'd suggest couture or something of the sort, perhaps abercrombie or polo. -- 04:18, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

If you disagree with it, then by all means, feel free to change it. I'm sure you can find pictures of Abercrombie or polo shirts in the respective articles about them. Asarelah 16:29, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Religion map[edit]

The map showing the various religous affiliation shows the diversity among different regions of the U.S. I will would like to reinsert the map in 48h, unless there are any objections (please voice them here). Thank you, Signaturebrendel 01:29, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

First reference vandalized[edit]

What's with the random statement right in the middle of the first reference? We get it, US is now multicultural, but I need to read the name of the book/article easily. Sheesh. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:06, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Trust in americans[edit]

Please let me know how much do the americans trust and how much do they believe in trust —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:55, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

We can only discuss that in the article if someone else has already published a study on it. Otherwise it would be original research. —Angr If you've written a quality article... 16:18, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Fine Arts[edit]

This article should really have a section on the fine arts in the US. So much innovation has happened here in all the arts: the films of Maya Deren and David Lynch, the music of Charles Ives and Steve Reich, the photography of Ansel Adams and Cindy Sherman, the painting of Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol, the novels of William Faulkner and Thomas Pynchon, etc. etc. etc. The US has certainly been a great place for innovation in popular culture, but it would be a shame to make it seem as if popular culture is the ONLY culture in the country. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Invisible map (talkcontribs) 22:05, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Unsourced statements removed[edit]

I have removed the following statements as they have been tagged "citation needed" for several months:

  • The nation's name as used in its founding documents, "United States of America" is less commonly used and is reserved almost exclusively to official usage.
  • [Private secular and multi-lingual elementary and secondary education] may cost $10,000 to $20,000 per year per student in large metropolitan areas...
  • Unlike many other cultures, even that of neighboring Mexico, death is looked upon by most Americans as a much greater sadness, and is dealt with in a much more subdued manner.

If anyone can find sources backing up these statements, feel free to re-add them. —Angr If you've written a quality article... 18:30, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for removing the statement that "United States of America" is not commonly used, except in official documents. That statement is patently inaccurate. One must assume that the original author of that statement has never lived in the U.S. I'm not sure what to make of the statement about Americans' attitude towards death. There may be some truth to it, but the observation is so subjective and impressionistic that it doesn't seem appropriate in this Wikipedia article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:14, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Codified Racism[edit]

Some aspects of American culture codify racism. For example, the prevailing idea in American culture, perpetuated by the media, has been that that black features are less attractive or desirable than white features. The idea that blackness was ugly was highly damaging to the psyche of African Americans, manifesting itself as internalized racism.[20] The Black is beautiful cultural movement sought to dispel this notion.[21]

Sure it's sourced, but this paragraph seems to be pushing the point a little bit hard.

Top importance ?[edit]

This article should realy be downgraded.

I mean american socity is rated top importance where as french or german socity is rated as trivial.

besides top importance articles are the most basic things like mathmatics or very basic science not trivial things like socity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:49, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

This article is rated top importance on WikiProject United States's importance scale, not the whole of Wikipedia. And there are no articles yet on French or German society. And society isn't trivial. --AdamSommerton (talk) 19:21, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Guilt Society[edit]

It should be noted that american society is based around guilt. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:49, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Do you have any reliable sources to back that up? Jayjg (talk) 00:24, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Restoring article[edit]

This is an key subject, no more mergeable then society is mergeable with culture. There was also, as far as I can tell, no discussion of the merger; the closest I could find was a mention in Talk:Culture_of_the_United_States/Archive_2#Merge:_accept_or_reject, where the consensus was to oppose the discussed mergers. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 21:46, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Notice of two related RfCs and request for participation[edit]

There are two RfCs in which your participation would be greatly appreciated:

Thank you. --Lightbreather (talk) 17:31, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Society of the United States/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

the article should be downgraded from top importance

Last edited at 12:50, 24 July 2009 (UTC). Substituted at 06:26, 30 April 2016 (UTC)