”Dear Friend” (?): Culture and Genre in American and Canadian Direct Marketing Letter
Md Rishad Zaman
Professor Neil Stubbs
Introduction to Academic Writing
Section WRIT 1000B
17 July 2013
In “”Dear Friend” (?): Culture and Genre in American and Canadian Direct Marketing Letter”, Roger Graves examines how English speaking Canadian people are different from Americans, and how business communicators need to identify those differences to be successful in both countries. Roger Graves uses warnings written on the cigarette packet to argue that Americans see only the health factors when Canadians consider both health and moral issue.
Another difference Roger Graves states is that Canadian culture is diverse- mix of Anglophones, Francophone, First Nations and people with different back ground and languages from all over the world that co-exists within the society. On the other hand, Americans are not. The examples he uses is that recent immigrants in Canada would bank with a branch that is closer to their own culture, for example, Bank of Nova Scotia in the East and Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec.
Roger Graves argues that Canadians are in favour of peace, order, and good government; on the other hand, Americans focus on life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. According to Lipset (1990), Canadians are not materialistic, less achievement-oriented, or competitive, unlike their American counterpart. Statistic shows that there were only 13 protests in Canada from 1978 to 1982; whereas, in America, 1,166 protests during that time period.
He mentions that culture and genre are an ongoing process and it depends on a daily professional life. Symbolism in Canadian culture is dependent upon people’s expectations. He exemplifies “The blue fleur de lis flag of Quebec was used to oppose the red and white maple leaf of Canadian national flag.” (238). Americans do not have that contradiction.
References: Graves, R. (1997, July). “Dear Friend” (?): Culture and Genre in American and Canadian direct
marketing letters. Journal of the Business Communication, 34(3), 235-252
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