Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Why Do Americans Act Like That?

Do you ever think about American culture and what makes us different from other cultures and countries around the world? I admit that even though I'm preparing to live in a foreign country, I don't always think critically about the assumptions and values that are a part of my life as a result of growing up in the U.S.

I just came across a really interesting article that provides an overview of some distinctives of American culture. I think the author hit the nail on the head... Reading it definitely made me recognize the things that I will not be able to assume when I live in Austria. I can confidently say that I value everything on this list...sometimes to a fault.

Here is the list of things that the author says are valued in America (I would encourage you to read the article for a more full explanation):

  1. Personal control over the environment; Personal responsibility
  2. Change is seen as natural and positive
  3. Time and It's Control
  4. Equality/Fairness
  5. Individualism/Independence
  6. Self Help Initiative
  7. Competition
  8. Future Orientation
  9. Action/Work Orientation
  10. Informality
  11. Directness/Openness/Honesty
  12. Practicality/Efficiency
  13. Materialism/Acquisitiveness
What aspects of American culture have most impacted your values?