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Race Class Gender and Sexuality Paper 1 To many people the phrase American culture represents a set of positive values and beliefs that would be held by any benevolent citizen In an ideal society this would indeed be the case however the phrase actually represents a set of values and beliefs that are imposed reinforced and become dominant These beliefs are often presented as being valid when they are actually based on the distortion and manipulation of the truth Dominant American culture is imposed by various means such as our families schools government and possibly most often by the mass media Although it is important to realize that cultural values and beliefs are not necessarily positive it must be noted that they are not necessarily negative either To discover if a dominant cultural belief is in fact sound one must examine it critically To do this is to look at where the belief originated why it has been reinforced and who is benefiting from its continuance In the readings by Rubin and Ore several dominant cultural values are investigated and an upsetting connection is found On the foundation of actual experiences the authors show how a number of dominant beliefs are presented as truth but in reality serve to promote the welfare of those in power and in control of resources When identifying dominant cultural beliefs perhaps the first one that comes to mind is the idea of the American dream To many the American dream is in fact the essence of America The idea that anyone can be anything they put their mind to is the basis for America being known as the land of opportunity Upon inspection however its apparent that America is far from an Egalitarian society where all have equal access to power and natural resources In a society where there was equal access to resources one would expect to see an equal distribution of wealth America however has
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