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American Ways: A Cultural Guide to the United States by Gary Althen

By Gary Althen

Even if you are a overseas scholar vacationing for a semester or a company individual traveling for per week, American Ways,Third version covers your whole simple wishes from the developments and customs of daily actions to the extra esoteric customs relating to cultural values, politics, schooling, faith and relationships. during this revised version, Gary Althen and Janet Bennett have extra fabric that gives the clearest insights but into the yank psyche and tradition, reflecting the various enormous alterations that experience happened because the earlier edition's e-book. Examples contain a rewritten bankruptcy on politics that d iscusses Bush-administration guidelines and controversies and the election of th e nation's first black president, in addition to an up to date bankruptcy on social rela tionships and the influence that networking websites reminiscent of Twitter and fb ha ve had on assembly humans and developing friendships.

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Society. ” It is also obvious in schools and co-curricular activities for children, where games and contests are assumed to be desirable and beneficial. Competitiveness is less obvious when it is in the minds of people who are persistently comparing themselves with others: who is faster, smarter, richer, better-looking; whose children are the most successful; whose husband is the best provider or the best cook or the best lover; which salesperson sold the most during the past quarter; who earned his first million dollars at the earliest age; and so on.

Tone of voice, order of speaking, choice of words, seating arrangements—such are the means by which Americans acknowledge status differences among themselves. People of higher status are more likely to speak first, louder, and longer. They sit at the head of the table or in the most comfortable chair. They feel free to interrupt other speakers more than others feel free to interrupt them. The higher-status person may put a hand on the shoulder of the lower-status person. If there is touching between the people involved, the higher-status person will touch first.

People who are competing 10 American Values and Assumptions with others are essentially alone, trying to maintain their superiority and, implicitly, their separateness from others. S. ” But that is not the case. “One of the things I’ve learned to love about Japan,” wrote an American visiting professor in that country, is its freedom from the classic Western notion that a person is a stable, unchanging, continuous entity, some essential self. In Japan, behavior and even personality depend partly on context, on the rules of a given situation.

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