American Ways: A Guide for Foreigners in the United States by Gary Althen

By Gary Althen

I feel lots of people which are American or have an American lifestyle, may perhaps locate it uncomfortable as the publication issues either to strengths and flaws. we do not like our flaws to be uncovered. that is why lots of people provide it undesirable rankings. yet as a foreigner dwelling within the US, i feel the writer is correct at the cash on every thing he says. After this, I basically comprehend American tradition extra. i'm now much less judgemental approximately american citizens. you cannot pass judgement on somebody for anything they grew up with iteration after new release and for issues that they discovered which may be beside the point for different cultures, yet have been very acceptable for his or her atmosphere and atmosphere. So congratulations to the author!!! and now I comprehend americans and do not pass judgement on them evenly.

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Additional resources for American Ways: A Guide for Foreigners in the United States

Sample text

Americans believe that people, as individuals or working cooperatively together, can change most aspects of their physical and social environments if they decide to do so, then make appropriate plans and get to work. Changes will presumably produce improvements. New things are better than old things. Closely associated with their assumption that they can bring about desirable changes in the future is the Americans’ assumption that their physical and social environments are subject to human domination or control.

If there is touching between the people involved, the higher-status person will touch first. Foreigners who are accustomed to more obvious displays of respect (such as bowing, averting eyes from the face of the higher-status person, or using honorific titles) often overlook the ways in which Americans show respect for people of higher status. They think, incorrectly, that Americans are generally unaware of status differences and disrespectful of other people. What is distinctive about the American outlook on the matter of equality are the underlying assumptions that (1) no matter what a person’s initial station in life, he or she has the opportunity to achieve high standing and (2) everyone, no matter how unfortunate, deserves some basic level of respectful treatment.

Values and assumptions are closely related, but there are some differences between them. The ways in which different cultures approach the issue of appropriate roles for men and women provide a good example of the relationship between values and assumptions. Values are ideas about what is right and wrong, desirable and undesirable, normal and abnormal, proper and improper. In some cultures, for example, people are taught that men and women should inhabit separate social worlds, with some activities clearly in the men’s domain and others clearly in the women’s.

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