Domestic and Foreign Perceptions of American Culture
The American culture is comprised of many customs that have come from older cultures. Our history, religions, food and literature all have been inspired by Great Britain, Germany, France, Japan and China, amongst others. I believe that these elder countries understand the American culture in some degree, yet tend to judge us in ways we do not understand. It is important that we as Americans educate ourselves in the older ways, just as it is for other cultures to try and educate themselves in our ever-changing ways.
Rapaille’s case study shows that Americans are thought of as young and naïve, the code word used to describe us is adolescence (Rapaille, 2007). In many ways the older cultures for generations have been teaching us and it seems sometimes we listen and sometimes we do not, just as young do. According Goodman (2009) some countries do not agree with America’s view of individualism. Certain countries, such as Japan feel that an employee should be a subordinate of a group and decisions should be made by a group, whereas in America our individualism and freedom are held with high regard.
Understanding these other cultures and how they perceive us can help American companies to succeed in other countries. Even though many older cultures view us as naive and young, if they take time to truly study our history they will find that the United States has a rich history, varied and vast geography, an enormous ethnic and cultural diversity and has one of the most diverse populations in the world (Goodman, 2009).
With such a diversity of cultures it is easy to see that America can offer the world a wide array of entertainment, products and services. Many American companies are in other countries and by using what appears to be young “Coca Cola, McDonalds…” they earn millions of dollars and create amazing opportunities for the Americans and those in the society of the culture they are in (Goodman, 2009)....
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