16 American Traditions Under Pressure from Modern Society

Krystal Smith

America’s customs and traditions are changing due to modern society’s challenges. This transformation is affecting many aspects of American life, from fading rituals like handwritten letters to once-thriving community events like block parties.

Family Dinners

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Regular family dinners, a tradition once a cornerstone of American family life, are now a thing of the past. With busy schedules and more parents working full time, family dinners are not as likely to happen in today’s world. It’s a sad thing, but it is reality. Most people would grab a bite to eat at fast food restaurants rather than a home-cooked meal.

Handwritten Letters

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When technology took over, handwritten letters fell by the wayside. We’re forgetting the simple yet meaningful way to connect: sending a letter. It avoids knowing how to address a letter, the envelope, and the stamp. It avoids the immediacy of it. It couldn’t be simpler to click send. 

Small-Town Parades

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Small-town parades, a tradition as American as apple pie, face challenges on at least three fronts: declining participation, budget constraints, and a shift in societal demographics. As younger generations have moved to urban centers and digital entertainment options, competing for eyeballs and eardrums, the tradition of small-town parades has diminished its relevance.

Sunday Drives

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It used to be nearly every Sunday. A drive through the national park or even a stroll down the road in the country was a rewarding experience. On a weekly basis, your car could be seen covered in a thick layer of dust and sometimes mud. 

Front Porch Socializing 

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Almost nobody sits out on their front porch and talks to their neighbors. To this day, you could ask a person who their neighbors were, and they probably could not tell you. Do you know your neighbors? Has something terrible happened, or is something wrong next to your house? 

Community Potlucks

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The community potluck, also known as a gathering of people holding its dishes and get-togethers, is fading away mainly because people have too busy schedules between work and family life. Not only is it trying to get everyone together, but many of the younger generation are sticking to fast food restaurants and anything that would be easier and faster. 

Town Hall Meetings

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American political system revolves so much on political discussion. Town hall meetings are one of the areas where citizens can participate, engage, and question their government. A town hall meeting is a form of public discussion where community members gather to ask government officials questions about a subject. 

Local Farmer Markets

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With agriculture changing, local farmers markets are changing too. It is now harder for local farmers’ markets to survive due to the rise of corporate retailers and some local zoning regulations and economic pressures. For people who value freshness, personal expertise, and relationships that come with knowing your farmer, we need to ensure that our local farmer’s markets can thrive in our ever-increasing sustainability-minded society.

Drive-In Movie Theaters

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Urban development and consumer trends toward streaming services have severely affected the once-famous drive-in movie theater.

Community Sing-Alongs

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Community sing-alongs, a gathering where people come together to sing songs from hymn books and other old-time favorites, are struggling to survive in the ever-changing music world due to modernizing and secularizing society and the decline of religion.

Block Parties

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Factors such as social isolation, safety concerns, and liability issues have made it challenging to hold festive gatherings for entire neighborhoods. With Americans working longer hours and feeling more disconnected than ever, community interaction has become a concern for many people. 

Historic Preservation

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Historic preservation tries to protect and preserve buildings and landmarks of historical significance in America. Urban development and gentrification pose long-term challenges to historic preservation. In the short term, the tradition is challenged by dwindling federal, state, and local funds. 

Community Volunteering

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One of the most prevalent reasons for people not volunteering is the lack of free time. This is cited by almost half of Americans as the primary reason. Another common barrier is that the schedules and commitments required for volunteering are often too inflexible. Creating a new social norm for volunteering could help to overcome these challenges.

Respecting The Flag

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A flag is the most superficial form of symbolism and documents used for people. People do not understand how to take care of the flag because of cultural ignorance. There are many controls that people without common sense have not been oblivious with enough common sense to realize certain symbols do not fly at specific points and to lower a flag. 

Long-standing Artisans

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Due to industrialization, globalization, and technology, long-standing artisans and their carpentry, forging, and tapestry face discontent. As modernity wraps its arms around efficiency and convenience, the institution of a long-standing artisan must morph to preserve its past so that it and others may appreciate the artistry.


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Cookouts, relaxing atmospheres, and delicious edibles face cynicism due to government intervention, food consciousness, and taste fluctuations. As harmful edibles permeate society, the cookout institution must switch to conform with society’s preferences.


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