Dominate Cultural Patterns of Switzerland

Topics: Switzerland, United States, U.S. state Pages: 3 (904 words) Published: December 18, 2001
Interpersonal Relations/Communications

Dominant Cultural Patterns in the United States as Compared and Contrasted to Dominant Cultural Patterns in Switzerland
Switzerland is one of the most mountainous countries in Europe. The Alps cover more than half of the country. It is a small country of 15,942 square miles. The country can be geographically divided into 3 areas: the Alps, the Mittleland (plateau), and the Jura mountains.

The population of Switzerland is about 7.3 million, with the majority of the population living in the Mittleland area. Switzerland is a melting pot of different ethnic groups-Germans, French, Italians, and Romansch. About 6% of the people who live in Switzerland have come from the Middle East, the former Yugoslavia, Greece, Italy, and other countries. Most of them are guest workers and do not have Swiss citizenship (Culturgram 277). Due to the diversity of cultures, Switzerland has four official languages-German, French, Italian. and Romansch. Romansch is spoken by 1% of the population.

Switzerland is one of the world's oldest democracies. The founding of the Swiss Confederation took place on August 1, 1291. Switzerland became a neutral country in 1815, making it illegal for the Swiss federal government to enter into political alliances or to make war except for in self-defense.

The country is divided into 26 states. These states are known as cantons. Political powers are divided between the federal government and the cantons (state) government. The citizens enjoy close control over the laws of the cantons, as well as the federal government. Referendums allow people to demand popular vote. Initiatives give the citizens the right to bring specific issues before the people to vote upon.

Now that you have a brief overview of Switzerland, we can successfully compare and contrast this country to the United States. Not just socially, or economically, for the reason behind this paper is to compare and contrast the dominant cultural...

Cited: "Switzerland." Culturgram 2000, Ed. Grant P. Skabelund. 2 vols. Brigham Young University
and eMSTAR, Inc. USA, 1999
"Switzerland." Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia, Ed. Leon. L Bram. 29 vols. United States of America: Rand McNally & Company, 1986
"Switzerland." New Enc
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