Some few years ago, I had an opportunity to move from my home country Saudi Arabia, and enter United States of America for my higher education. As usual, United States seemed unfamiliar to me because; this was my first time to enter in a foreign land. Unlike Saudi Arabia values, American values deeply rooted in the society and formed the fundamental principles of American life. From politics to economics to social life, the place appeared different in totality, as compared to my home country.
It therefore gave me a challenge to start learning and adopting new American values and cultural traits, in order to enhance my learning. I had an opportunity to ask American people the real definition of American values. The first person I talked to told me that, the American reverie was to be an affluent and vibrant nation.
I did not stop there either. The second person told me that, American values means family units supporting its members. Sometimes I could ask my fellow American university students what their perception were as regard to American values.
There are some Americans who believed that, to attain an American dream through American values means; doing absolutely nothing. Nevertheless, after a long time of deliberation and socialization, it came to my realization that Americans are successful people. This is because; they value their social, economical and political to be compasses of American values. It does not matter whether it is individual toil to success, or single men or women working hard to climb the ladder of success. All of them have one specific goal; to be successful. Perhaps this is the reason why American value education so much.
To them, education is paramount in changing the social, economic and political values of Americans. Americans build many schools and sent their children in order to be successful, improve their future economic status, and to gain supremacy or esteem. However, I learnt that, Americans grouped themselves in classes of success either by race, color or sex. Classes that defined the richness or poorness of individual Americans.
United States of America Society Regarding Its Politics, Economics, Cultural Life and Values
American politics, economics, cultural life and values are the major ingredients of a vibrant American society.
If these components are missing or appears wrongly, then there would be an unsuccessful American society. For example, bad politics affects the economic status of the country while without ethical values; a nation cannot be defined culturally. It is true to say, cultural values define a country socially, economically and politically. For example, Americans choose equality over inequality, unity f purpose over segregation, appreciation rather than racism and social cohesiveness over social bigotry to define their rich culture. This is evident in America where, every person regardless of age, color, sex or ethnic origin is considered equal and important in building a prosperous nation. The founding fathers of America believed that, it is through integrity, hope, honor, and pride, which will make United States of America a successful nation, just like it is today. I therefore learnt of these values as fundamental to shaping a cultural American society.
Additionally, I learnt that, Americans divide themselves into three social classes. Nevertheless, there is still contention among Americans on the real definition of a social class. While others advocate that they do exist, some Americans do not believe so and instead, label social units to be class levels. Nonetheless, the three classes include the rich, those in middle-class and the poor. Americans fall into these classes according to the level of education, riches, income, profession or subculture. Successful businessmen and politicians, fall in the capitalist class, which is the highest social class.
On the other hand, highly educated professionals like Chief Executives and academicians lie in the class called, upper middle class. This is because, they earn quite high from their profession. College-educated fellows like engineers, accountants and sales persons fall in lower middle class. Lastly, blue collar workers are either considered poor or underclass. Social stratifications determine the level of education children from a particular family could get.
For example, in universities, most population composes of students from well-off families. They can afford the damnable university education; because they afford it. Like in Saudi Arabia, only the rich in America front capital. Therefore, the upper class decides what to do with their money. Idealistically, these people are the on who provide opportunities to Americans of lower classes.
They are actually the shapers of economy and control the political scenario in America. They form a cultural class structure whose fundamental principle is economic prowess. The poor Americans working on blue collar jobs like housing projects engage in egocentric American values like homicide, prostitution and drug trafficking with an aim of attaining richness. Sometimes, some of them successfully change their social class from poor to affluent. A small percentage of upper class Americans engage in corrupt deals, which sire luxurious lifestyles; thus forgetting the poor. Like in Saudi Arabia, the rich would always want to remain rich. Therefore, in constructing a successful economy, rich Americans invest in projects that benefit them over others. I learnt that, the rich people are selfish and consider themselves, unequal to fellow Americans.
Nevertheless, America is a capitalistic state with varying class mobility. The U.S. Census Bureau is responsible for measuring individual or household income of Americans. Many households lie above an earning of $62 500 or even more. In most cases, these households comprise of skilled working force drawing income based on their education and skills. Additionally, many Americans have one or two children per household.
This means; there is high per capita income in households that enjoy high income. In a situation where all members within a certain household work; household income is substantially high. Thus, children from these households can be successful economically even without educational degrees or human resource skills. On educational matters, I learnt that, tertiary education is not free in America.
However, in order to secure a well-paying job, a degree certificate is necessary. There is no uniformity in tuition fees. Each institution has its own fees structure depending on the academic discipline. International students pay higher fees than home students. The reputation of a particular college or university can also determine the amount of fees paid. For example, students opting to study at the University of California of Harvard will pay more as compared to students in other universities.
Interestingly, the fees for college education can exceed $200 000 for a student studying a four-year program. On the other hand, the amount is relatively lower in universities. Additionally, universities offer scholarships to students from poor background. Still, those who do not receive scholarships can access loan facilities at lower interest rates. In America, education is considered important because; the amount of education one receives, determines the social class and therefore, it acts as the gatekeeper of professionalism.
In America, education is practical oriented and students learn practical rather than theoretical skills.
Contrast between Saudi Arabia and United States of America in Terms of Social Classes
By contrast, Saudi Arabia’s social stratifications resemble those in America albeit small deviations. For example, American population is mainly centered in towns while in Saudi Arabia, population is evenly distributed. This is because; America is a capitalist state whose major income generation is creation of wealth through business enterprises. On the other hand, majority of Americans are Christians while in Saudi Arabia, the biggest percentage compose of Muslims. These denominations largely influence social classes. For example, in Saudi Arabia, Muslim teachings and values compose the dream of Saudi citizens. Unlike in America where hope, honor, prestige and power influence Americans towards economic success, respect and development influence Saudi citizens towards their success either socially, economically or politically.
The richest people in America are oil businesspersons and politicians. However, they are not as many like in America. In Saudi Arabia, people can only be classified into two economic classes. Those who are potentially rich can afford to pay or buy anything while those who are superfluously poor, lack the power to afford even the basic things. This is perhaps the reasons as to why, many Saudi Arabians do not complete their education and attain university certificates.
Additionally, the rich continue being rich by oppressing the poor. Thus, from generation to generation, wealth tracks down the line of success of certain households who were prior rich. This is the same thing in America where, the richer receive financial compensation hence; boosting their social-economic class.
If I get another opportunity to study or live in America, I would like to study American politics. This is because; American politics is paramount to every nation on earth.
Every person on earth wants to identify with either Democrats or Republicans. For example, majority of Saudi Arabians would want to see Democratic administration in America rather than Republic administration because; most of them associate republicans with bureaucracy. On the other hand, Democratic rule is mainly based on the civil liberties rather than international policing. I would also like to understand American foreign policy, which is paramount in international relations including peace keeping missions in Middle East, alleged terrorism combating in Afghanistan and ceasefire in Iraq.
Additionally, I would also demand to know, the correlation between social class, education and household economy with American politics. Political representation along racial and ethnic lines still remain a riddle and to unravel these and many other political activism discrepancies, entering America once more will be a dream come true. At university in United States, there was a widespread claim that, professional bodies and educated Americans dictated the outcome of elections.
I never witnessed this scenario as I left before general elections. Therefore, I would like to ascertain the claim and perhaps develop my own theory in American politics. I also learnt from my fellow students that, the level of education in an individual determines whether to vote as a Democrat or as a Republican. For example, history reckons the highly educated Americans as Democratic voters. Moreover, Americans with post-graduate certificates are more likely prone to vote for Democratic presidential candidate. On the other hand, the affluent Americans vote Republic.
These are some fallacies which I would like to prove when I enter United States of America once more. In conclusion, United States of America is one of the best places to stay because; Americans are free people who like associating so much. They are willing to help international people settle down quickly, and adopt their culture with easiness. Life is not expensive in America especially in big towns and the friendly climate will make someone extend the stay.