Cultural Event Assignment

America’s reputation as the land of cultural diversity is tough to dispute. Terms like “melting pot” and “heterogeneous” are often used to describe American society. But what exactly constitutes a culture? This assignment is designed to help you understand the concept of culture and how it applies to you and your fellow citizens.

To complete this assignment, you must first figure out what the word “culture” means to you. I have listed a definition below to help you settle on your own idea of what culture is.

culture (noun)
a : the integrated pattern of human behavior that includes thought, speech, action, and artifacts and depends upon the human capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations
b : the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group (merriam-webster.com)

[For the record, I find the second definition far easier to process.]

Next, you need to figure out the cultures to which you belong. My list might look something like this:
Teachers/Academics
Sports fans
Runners/Active people
Independents (politically)
Christians

Within these cultures could also be subcultures:

Teachers/Academics
College English Instructors
Sports fans
Philadelphia Eagles
Georgia Bulldogs
Ice Hockey
Runners/Active people
5k runners
Independents (politically)

Christians
Protestants

Now that you have identified the cultures to which you belong, you are ready to find a cultural event to attend—but there is a catch. The cultural event cannot be related to a culture with which you already identify. In order to truly learn about culture in America, you need to choose a cultural event that will present a learning opportunity. Think about it; if you are a fan of heavy metal music and associate yourself with that culture, you will not learn much about the culture that you didn’t already know by attending a Metallica concert (although you could view the culture in a slightly different way). So try something new and become a more knowledgeable (i.e. cultured) person by investigating the “customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits” of an unfamiliar culture. The further you go from your comfort zone, the better.

If you attempt to use a cultural event that is not unfamiliar to you, the assignment will likely be more difficult for you to complete (see instructions below), and your grade will suffer as a result. There are many options for cultural events, and I encourage you to be creative and bold with your selections. You also do not need to spend money to attend a cultural event, as many events are free.

Ideas for Cultural Events:

Museums
Plays/Concerts/Ballets
Political Rallies
Religious Services
Sporting Events
Food festivals (ex. Chili Cookoff)
Parades (ex. Pride Parade)
Conventions (ex. DragonCon)
Protests/Demonstrations
Exhibits (ex. Dialogue in the Dark)
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Cultural Event Assignment