Cultural myths that are detrimental to american society

By July 26, 2017 Cultural

A cultural myth is a traditional narrative that has a significance attached to it. These myths have an consequence in they manner people lead their lives and even how they interact with each other. It is noteworthy that myths have a function to play be it personally, or to the wider society. In every bit much as one may believe or doubt such myths, they still continue to be in different ways, and are determining fates of many. Myths can be full of truth or falsity and depend on the reading a individual may prefer. Many societies and races in the universe have diverse myths which may promote or deter certain forms of behaviour. Rituals and imposts are explained in myths and their virtues or demerits laid down for everyone to spot.

The Grecian mythology ( Detienne, 18 ) is most noteworthy particularly in the manner they exhort ascendants to be like Gods. Myths came before scientific discipline and this makes it impossible to discredit them. Long clip ago, people depended on myths to explicate the enigmas of creative activity and they accepted them with a batch of ardor. Many other inquiries were answered including the beginning of adult male and his eventual fate after decease. Evil is besides brought under the examination of myths and they expound its cause and ground for its being. The rise of modern civilisation can excessively be traced in myths runing from agribusiness to industry to settled life in metropoliss.

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The modern universe has continued to encompass myths in one manner or another. Modern engineering has given rise to much development in mass media which in bend has enabled many myths from different parts of the universe to be collected together for survey. Books have been printed and availed to anybody with involvement to read and either agree or disagree with the topic. From an person to a community, some cultural myths seem worthy in the sense that they encourage or uplift the spirit ( Wessels, 92 ) . Others may non needfully be so and may look unrealistic particularly if they are damaging or implying immorality.

The followers are some of the cultural myths that are most damaging to American society today:

Happily Ever After

The American society as any other society has non been left behind in encompassing myths. Many of them believe that felicity can be sought and achieved despite the adversity 1 may travel through. Happiness is attributed to material ownerships whereby those who do non hold ample stuff wealth are considered unhappy. The political orientation of ownerships can be traced through ancient myths some of which are still followed today. Hard work is associated to prosperity and deficiency of it hence leads to a humble life.

Surveies have shown that felicity is non related to stuff or money ownerships ( Veenhoven, 5 ) . The old impression which led many people to get every bit much as they could has been proven false. Traditionalists believed that it is out of what you possess that gives you the feeling of felicity. Peoples so would endeavor so much in order to hold money so that they may populate the remainder of their lives merrily. In did non count the agencies or the extent to which this was sought every bit long as one could proudly claim he had money. Americans forgot that felicity is ne’er lasting and largely is derived from being comfy with what one has, nevertheless small.

Compulsion with ownerships created greed in American people which can ne’er be satisfied. Someone even came up with a term “ National Happiness ” , a system that oversaw people overlook other of import issues in order to get felicity. Ironically, this myth has wrought greed, selfishness and immorality in the Americans ( Alesina & A ; Tella, 3 ) .

The Nuclear Family

The household has been a footing upon which states are built. The atomic household is composed of a male parent, female parent and their kids. This household set up has been criticized for a really long clip due to its deficiency of catholicity, kernel and modernness ( Chester, 111 ) . Industrialization brought out the demand to travel off to work topographic points and evidently the atomic household was affected. When the caputs of the household began traveling to far off topographic points in hunt of occupation, there remained a inquiry as to whether those left should still be considered as a atomic household.

The myth that every atomic household should provide for itself has contributed negatively in its kernel. Most Americans may prefer to be in such households in contrast that whole societies need to populate together and provide for each other. Another facet which makes the atomic household fail is failure of it being cosmopolitan. Since other societies in the universe have extended households, the impression in Americans head that merely the atomic household is perfect could be incorrect. This is another cultural myth that has pulled back the Americans in their chases and has isolated them.

The western civilization took the atomic household as a symbol and went in front to portray it in art and media. But statistics show that there has been a diminution in the figure of atomic households in the America over the past few old ages. Divorces and remarriages are common and therefore the true definition of a atomic household has eroded. This goes on to demo that the ideal atomic household that was projected was merely another cultural myth which has no topographic point in modern society. It becomes a myth in the sense that sometimes ago ; going from this household set up was seen as immoral and unhealthy by many Americans ( Uzoka, 34 )

Most Americans have shunned the drawn-out household apparatus which encouraged communal duty, and have upheld atomic households which promote individuality. The drawn-out household comprises of the atomic household and the relations. This type of household is largely concerned with edifice relationships which in bend play a function in the broad community. It is merely when people begin to care for each other, the immediate community benefits every bit good as the whole state. It is hence of import that the Americans embracing extended household and interruption from their cultural myth of atomic households.

The American Dream

The American Dream has become a gimmick phrase to many people who value freedom. It tries to construct a construct that success and prosperity in life can be attained in an environment where freedom exists. An single ability to accomplish success will vouch a better and fuller life despite diverse societal category if and merely if they are allowed to freely research their ends. This is besides echoed in the Declaration of Independence which mentions that “ all work forces are created equal ” . Life, chase of felicity and freedom are the nucleus rights given by God, it continues to province ( Schnell, 4 ) .

Under the Dream, the chief chase of ownership has seen Americans create categories amongst themselves and warranting this. There is the lowest category for hapless, the in-between category and the wealthy based on ownership of material things.

Hard work is encouraged in Americans in order for them to recognize the Dream to an extent that it becomes a “ Cardinal Belief ” . But despite of all this, the dream seem elusive to the black race who are ever hot on the heels to make up the white Americans. The racism that exists between the white and inkinesss goes on to explicate that the dream is non ultimate. The American Dream has non been able to work out all the jobs impacting the Americans in general. It is of import to observe that without including everybody in working towards authorization and success the Dream can non be of any usage. Optimism and subject are critical in recognizing every American dream and this has non yet been achieved ( Ringer & A ; Moore, 56 )

Racial Stereotyping

There have ever been combative issues in respect to racial struggle bing between the Whites and the inkinesss in America. The job can be traced in the colonial times whereby black bondage was a norm. Blacks so were considered superstitious and crude. Such a myth has seen them being oppressed for so many old ages that even now there exists a little per centum of Whites who regard them so. They have besides been associated with every negative facet in society from offense, force and indolence.

An of import fact to observe is that, were it non for a tradition of sing black negatively, they excessively are human and have all the abilities as white have. The cultural myths have engineered a tendency that is hard to cover with in modern society. Some cases where these myths have brought about are instances where people are discriminated harmonizing to their tegument colour. They are denied occupations and other authorities services merely because of their tegument colour. A recent instance during Hurricane Katrina where the authorities failed to move quickly is a instance survey for this. It attests to the fact that cultural myths still have a topographic point in the modern society ; albeit the American society ought to eschew this immorality ( Palmer, 75 ) .

The Americans have stereotyped many other races like the Jews, Latino, and Indians. It is because of these cultural myths that people have behaved in negative ways towards each other. They have refused to travel off from such myths disregarding the fact that such cause hatred amongst each other.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur ‘s Court

Mark Twain analyses myths in a perfect manner by demoing in the characters the consequence myths can hold on people. The chief subjects of yesteryear, bondage, gallantry are expressed good in the book. Suicide and or saving is another facet that is brought approximately by the book.

Hank Morgan is a captive who has traveled back in clip to the 6th century and is sentenced to decease before Arthur ‘s tribunal because of his unusual frock and visual aspect. Before the executing is carried out, he is able to purchase his freedom by converting the Arthur that he is a magician. He relies on cognition that a Sun occultation will take topographic point before he is executed and he convinces the King that he is the cause of it. Hank is given the highest rubric in the land and he does non neglect to roast the people who fear him.

Morgan sooner learns about superstitious notions embraced by the indigens and he capitalizes on his superior cognition to surpass them. Through the magician Merlin, Hank is subsequently discovered as a sham and people start to distribute rumour about him. Using his humor he is able to outwit Merlin once more by “ naming fire from above ” . Hank uses his influence to convey about industrialisation to that state and besides put up schools.

She becomes familiar with the district he begins to understand the people and their manner of life, which are still much in superstitious notions and myths, and even befriends a miss named Sandy. Hank outsmarts Merlin once more in reconstructing a broken H2O fountain and therefore retains power and regard. He convinces all present on his ability to cite the devils. Morgan has a manner with the indigen ‘s lives and together with the male monarch he continues the clasp of power.

Sandy gives birth to a babe with Hank and upon the kid ‘s unwellness he is lured to go forth the state therefore go forthing a spread in the state ‘s leading. The King and Lancelot fight over Guinevere unfaithfulness. The church provokes a rebellion over Hank the people start a war. The narrative ends with the present twenty-four hours where Hank is found woolgathering about his lover, Sandy, about a millenary subsequently. It is argued by some people that the book is an onslaught on American ‘s values which include philistinism and engineering. American sentimentalism about the yesteryear is besides criticized ( Twain & A ; Thompson ) .


Myths, nevertheless good they might be still remain myths. In the modern society, we should be acute to understand the truths about life and work together towards a common end. The existent end in our cultural diverseness should be to see everybody gets nutrient, vesture and shelter and that they can suit in every state of affairs.

Couple in his book looks in the consequence myths have on our civilization and twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours populate. The mythic Arthur is associated with the yesteryear in contrast with Hank who symbolizes the present. The church is besides brought into position and is seen as an immorality and an enemy which conspires with political figures to oppress people. Slavery as another societal threat should besides be done off with. Slavery was embraced by many people in the past since they saw in it a manner to acquire inexpensive labour and pecuniary addition. It becomes a cultural myth that Americans now should get rid of.

Magic is contrasted with world in signifier of industrialisation. Peoples in the past relied on thaumaturgy to accomplish their demands but the book shows that such a myth can be done off with through usage of engineering. Industrialization should be a factor in civilisation instead the thaumaturgy of pasts. Many more accomplishments can be found by developing people since human nature allows it. Training determines the behaviour of a society unlike when people rely on myths. They are so able to distinguish between what is right and incorrect ( Umland & A ; Umland 25 )

It should be noted that all these myths have had a topographic point in American society and some have tarnished its name. Americans should hence travel off from negative cultural myths, as discussed above, in order to go on as a state. Above all, all other states look towards America for counsel and support.


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