Yes, Americans are very materialistic. Take for example the quote “Dress for Success”. Depending on your field of employment, the way one dresses has a big factor on weather you get the promotion or the other guy. Your ability and knowledge come second. As American I feel too much is place on outward appearance. Many people can afford the expense clothes or may choose not to spend their money in that matter. I working in the computer industry and feel very fortunate that my skill will be notice before my clothing. In this field most people dress very causal and you advance by your ability and knowledge rather than you images,
Children are very many influences by what other people are wearing and what others have. Your clothing is a label and let other know if you fit in. Children today are pressures to be part of the norm. So as parent we must teach our children individuality, do not do something because everyone else is.
Women in the work place
In the early 1900 employer felt no qualms about paying women less that subsistence wage. They assumed their income was mere gravy added to their husband earning. In 1945, equal pay legislation was introduces, but did not pass for some eighteen years. These laws and many others pass has help women in the workplace. Today many women are CEO of Major Corporation, salary are very competitive between men and women. Due to the change in value, the number of women in the workplace has increased.
I am a working single Mom. I work out of necessity, but also find fulfillment in my career choice. I enjoy what I do and it has given me the ability to send my son to a private school. The value of a good education and proper environment has a big factor on whom we become. I am proud of who I am and I believe my son is also.
I feel that fitting in is not the issue, the issue is WHY you are trying to fit in. The IM kept running because he was trying to fit in to what other people wanted him to be. He stopped running when he realized that this wasn’t necessary. It’s possible to be a productive member of society without be part of the “norm.” But if you try to fit in simply because it’s expected or what someone else wants you to do, then you’ll never be happy, and to a degree, you’ll never be successful.