As Americans we all have similar values and morals.  We have these similar values because we are a united country, but we don’t think about what shapes these values.  Where do these values come from? What shapes the values of Americans as individuals? The values of Americans are most significantly shaped by family.  

From the beginning your family affects everything you know. From the way you talk to what you believe is all molded by our families.  As said in “The Effects of Family Culture on Family Foundation,” in direct ways “children are molded by the family culture into which they are born. Growing up, their assumptions about what is right and wrong, good and bad, reflect the beliefs, values and traditions of the family culture”(The Effects of Family Culture on Family Foundations).  As you grow up values shaped by your family can stick with you until you die. 

Values can be shaped by your family no matter how old you are. Sometimes a piece of advice from a parent can change the way you think about something.  Advice from yours parents can be so meaningful it changes your values as well

   For example in Watched by Marina Budhos, a teen is experiencing problems in his life, and his dad gives him advice saying “We must find ourselves wherever we are. And it will be alright” (Budhos 139).  This piece of simple advice impacted his values about himself and life.  This simple peice of advice helped him make the right choice he might not have made without this advice.

From childhood, family is the first thing you experience.  Your family is everywhere. By being constantly around your family you become more like them and your values begin to mimic theirs.  The values learned during the infant years stick with you and you teach them to your children in a similar manner. As said in Just What are Family Values, family values are a “part of the heritage we received from our parents and will develop and pass on to our children”(Blankenhorn).  

American values would not be the same without the strong families that make up America. Family is the most important thing in our lives. America is built on family and is made up of families to this day.  These strong families mold the values that make America the great country it is.   

Works Cited

Blankenhorn, David, and Institute for American Values. “Just What Are Family Values?” IAV , http://americanvalues.org/search/item.php?id=2040. Accessed November 24 2019.

BUDHOS, MARINA. WATCHED. EMBER, 2018. Accessed November 24 2019.

 The Effects of Family Culture on Family Foundations.” Council on Foundations, 11 June 2019, https://www.cof.org/content/effects-family-culture-family-foundations. Accessed November 24 2019.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Where American Values Come From by jack is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

3 Comments
  1. Abhi 12 hours ago

    Hi Jack,
    I thought your post on where American values come from was very intriguing and I agree with what you’re saying. Families play a very big role in who we are and what we believe in. In addition to family, I think friends also play an important role. According to M.Farouk Radwan, MSc., friends can impact our beliefs on things such as views on different topics. I think, in general, the people who we surround ourselves with, including family, can make a big impact on us. Overall, I really enjoyed reading your post. It gave me an interesting perspective on where American values come from.

    Link to article by M.Farouk Radwan, MSc: https://www.2knowmyself.com/how_can_friends_affect_your_life

  2. Owen 3 days ago

    Hello Jack. I thought your take on where American Values came from was interesting and agreed with most. According to Trevor Holmes (https://trevor.help/part-2-series-on-values/), you gain your major values between ages 8 to 13. This means that most people will learn from their families about their values. One sentence that stood out to me was when you talked about how family was the most important thing in our lives. This reminded me of Confucianism because one of the main beliefs of it, is that family is important. Thank you for your article. It made me reevaluate where values are formed.

    • Author
      jack 3 days ago

      Hey Owen, thank you for reading my essay. I liked that you brought up confucianism. I remember learning about that in history last year. I also read the article, so thank you for giving me that source. I might have to use that source in some of my other reading.

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