Understanding American Culture
Tips for Acclimating to US Daily Life
Below is a list of a few notable differences between Americans and people from other countries. Understanding these basic differences will enable you to better adapt to your new culture in the US.
Demeanor – Americans are much more assertive than most international visitors. They use words as tools to express their opinions and to accomplish goals. The United States is a rather individualistic society, with less social pressure to conform. As a result, you will need to become more assertive and to speak out on your own behalf. Take the initiative and volunteer information that will be of interest. In an interview, talk about your goals and accomplishments. An American idiom expresses this requirement succinctly: If you don’t toot your own horn, who will?
Accordingly, Americans begin a discussion with a focus on accomplishments and concrete facts, and later proceed to the abstract. You should begin any conversation or proposal with the most important information. Be direct, and reserve small talk for later. Eye contact is also important. It is not a sign of disrespect, but instead an indication of openness, honesty and enthusiasm. Further reading download this material Understanding American Culture
Etiquette and Behavior
Introductions. If you meet someone you know on the street while you are with someone else they do not know, it is polite (and customary) to introduce the people to each other.
Foreign Languages. If you are with a group of mainly English-speaking people and the conversation is going on in English, it is not polite to speak in your own or another foreign language for more than a few sentences.
Taboo Topics. The use of swear words, obscenities, or ethnic vulgarisms is best avoided in conversation, even if you hear someone else using this kind of language. Also, avoid telling off-color or sexually explicit stories or jokes. This kind of language may be effective with some Americans, but can be deeply offensive and off-putting to others. The habitual use of obscenities, in or out of context, is never a good idea. You may indeed hear it, but do not repeat it. See more click this link EVERYDAY MANNERS
WHAT ARE THE BASIC AMERICAN VALUES AND BELIEFS?
Sociologist Robin Williams attempted to offer a list of basic values in the United States: Achievement, efficiency, material comfort, nationalism, equality and the supremacy of science and reason, over faith. There are certain ideals and values, rooted in the country’s history, which many Americans share. Here are: FREEDOM, INDIVIDUALISM, PRAGMATISM, VOLUNTEERISM, MOBILITY, PATRIOTISM, PROGRESS, AMERICAN DREAM. Further explaination click this link. AMERICAN VALUES AND BELIEF
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For the students of 4A, 4B, and 4C of English Department of IKIP PGRI Madiun, please download this material for Intercultural Communication. Getting along with Americans 2
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