SOC101 – Red, White, and Blue: Defining American Culture

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In this episode, we tackle the concept of culture. ‘Culture’ is one of the most complex words in the English language, and every field has its own way of defining it, including sociology. We break down the various elements that make up culture from a sociological perspective, and focus on American culture– which is broad, yet rigid– as our main context. Then, we take a more personal look at how the three hosts have experienced American culture growing up. What do you think it takes to be an ‘American’? Join us as we search for an answer!


Culture, America, sociology


  1. American Sociological Association’s definition of culture
  2. The number of languages (and maybe cultures?) in the world
  3. United States of America’s Declaration of Independence
  4. Alexis de Tocqueville’s (1840) Democracy in America
  5. Ideal culture VS Real culture
  6. If you’re interested in how culture affects emotions, Jonathan H Turner and Jan E. Stets’ (2005) The Sociology of Emotions is a good, academic place to start!
  7. Ta-Nehisi Coates on Barack Obama – My President Was Black (The Atlantic)
  8. Jennifer Love Hewitt’s 1998 movie, Can’t Hardly Wait
  9. Louis C.K.’s bit on Time Travel is Exclusively a White Privilege

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