Ethics and Cultures

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In the article “American Values and Assumptions” (American Ways: A guide for Foreigners, 2003), Gary Althen discusses about the values and assumptions of American cultures and whether if they are beneficial or harmful to American society. In America, people have strong competition toward others and also they spend time on their privacy. Both American culture’s value and assumption are beneficial to American society.

American culture that is having a strong competition is beneficial to American society because having competitions make you compare yourself with others who are better than you and it makes you try to become a better at what you are competing on. “Competitiveness is less obvious when it is in the minds of people who are consistently comparing themselves with other: who is faster, smarter, richer, better looking;” (Althen 8). For example, in sports, every athlete tries to become a better player than other who is better than them. “Individualistic Americans naturally see themselves as being in competition with others” (Althen 7). Competition brings the best player for American society and it is beneficial because America will have better athletes and competitors compare to other countries where they don’t have competitions.

Privacy is beneficial to American society in American culture because everyone need time to recover their psychological energy that was spent. Also, not having an individual time when you spent your time by yourself is tending to known as a weak person or dependent. “’need some time to themselves’ or ‘some time alone’ to think about things or recover their spent psychological energy” (Althen 8). Having a time alone is very important and beneficial because people often need a time to think by themselves and having someone next to you all the time won’t get you an independent strength where you need to do something by your own.
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