Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Bemused in America and in Sociology...
Today we talked about Bemused in America. The article shows how someone from a country relatively similar to the United States, Germany(Western, industrialized, Democratic) can find many cultural differences that are quizzical and strange to him. These differences can be attributed to the different values that Americans have. For example, think about the Supermarket article. We like 24 hr stores because it is practical and efficient to have stores open all night and it allows us to control our time and shop whenever we want. Here is the list of values (once again) that we compared to what the German author finds strange:
Kohl's "Values Americans Live By" is a really succinct explanation of American values.
American Values vs.Other Cultures’ Values
Personal control/responsibility vs Fate/destiny
Change seen as natural/positive/Progress vs. Stability/tradition
Time and its control vs. Human Interaction
Equality/fairness vs. Hierarchy/rank/status
Individualism/independence/freedom vs. Group welfare/dependence
Self-Help/initiative vs. Birthright/inheritance
Competition vs. Cooperation
Future orientation vs. Past orientation
Action/work vs. “Being”
Informality vs. Formality
Directness/openness/Honesty vs. Indirectness/ritual/”face”
Practicality/efficiency vs. Idealism/theory
Materialism/Acquisitiveness vs. Spiritualism/detachment
Achievement/Success vs. Acceptance/Status Quo
Morality/judgement vs.Consequentialism/situational ethics
And here is how other cultures view American culture. Many cultures have "American" themed parties based on their perception of American culture.
And here is an Australian's perspective of strange things Americans do.