Despite certain consistent values (e.g. individualism, egalitarianism, freedom, democracy), American culture has a variety of expressions.
People from different backgrounds tend to have different value systems, which cluster together into a more or less consistent system.
Although various values often reinforce one another, these clusters of values may also include values that contradict one another.
Values tend to change over time, and the dominant values in a country might shift as that country undergoes economic and social change.
In American usage, "culture war" refers to the claim that there is a conflict between those conservative and liberal values.
Cultures hold values that are largely shared by their members, thereby binding members together.
Any given culture contains a set of values that determine what is important to the society; these values can be idealized or realized.