United States of America is the third largest country with the population of more than 300 million people and globally powerful. But for many people from other countries who arrive for their different needs like academics, business purpose were not aware of American culture and they struggle a lot to adapt to such culture based on religion, language, values social customs and practice.
VALUE AND BELIEFS
The value and beliefs of American Culture can be predicted in four ways like Independence, Equality, Informality, and Directness.
Individualism is the foremost belief that all the Americans have in their life. This belief comes from the fact, that the freedom is the desire and the right to all the individuals to control their own destiny. The price that is paid for their individualism is self-reliance i.e. one should earn themselves. They are an individual rather than a member of their family groups, religious group or any kind of other groups.
“ALL ARE CREATED EQUAL”
Equality is one of the deeply embedded values in American Cultural Pattern. Americans believe in the equality of opportunity and everyone has a chance for success. Competition is the best price that is awarded for its equality.
Informality is friendly behaviours, speech or wearing styles that will not follow any strict rules and ceremonies. All the people like students, leaders are free to choose their own wearing style. Even the clerks and waiters will introduce themselves by their first name in which there is nothing to get surprised as like other countries. It is not for rudeness or irreverence, but it is a part of our culture.
Americans are raised to be open and direct. Directness equals trustworthiness in American culture. They follow the fact that “No means No and yes means Yes”. They value the frankness and openness of other people. If anyone has a conflict or problem with another person, they should tell the person in order to come up with the solution.
American English is the primary language used for legal issues, regulations, executive orders and all other related to official announcements but many other language are also spoken. America is a multilingual nation due to the large number of immigrants. According to the survey the top 10 languages used in America are English, Spanish, Chinese, French, Tagalong, Vietnamese, Arabic, Korean, Russian, and German.
There are some laws for requiring documents to be available in multi language as there are many non-English speakers in an area. American Sign Language is the most common language in United States of America.
People in America are direct Communicators and they convey their whole message verbally while their attention for body language is very less. Language style of American is quite enthusiastic and persuasive. American people will speak on their own instead of waiting for someone to tell their own achievements. They speak in higher volumes but they will appreciate loudness and emotional breakouts. Americans always try to fill the gap in conversations as they feel uncomfortable when there is a silence during communication.
Maintaining an eye-contact is an important aspect for an American when a person is communicating with the other. They always follow the fact that giving a small smile or nod to stranger when passing through is gesture of goodwill instead of doing nothing which is consider as being rude. Americans are not very tactile outside of their close relationships. They like to provide a personal space if the opponent is not comfortable, without mentioning it and they will just step back. Americans will give importance to gestures during the conversation.
It is very common in America to greet people irrespective of if we know that person or not. It is very common and important to greet people even if they are strangers. Greeting is a common etiquette in America. In Social Settings Greetings are usually informal. Every Americans will use their first name during their initial introduction. Handshake is a common greeting. Confidence of a person is reflected by being the first person to greet. American counterpart will expect to introduce themselves when they are newcomer, depending upon the situation. It is assumed that greeting people will be helpful when they mingle each other. Americans will describe their occupation when greeting others.
Thus the cultural pattern of America will not tell the whole story of an American Character; they are one of the facets of the character and life of an American. If you are trying to help someone, try it in a way that gives them opportunity to help themselves race relations are considered as offense in America. Culture in America has reached all parts of world.
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- Leeman, Jennifer. ‘It’s all about English: The interplay of monolingual ideologies, language policies and the U.S. Census Bureau’s statistics on multilingualism’. International Journal of the Sociology of Language,2018
- Advameg. United States of America, http://www.everyculture.com/To-Z/United-States-of-America.html
- Swift,A. Smaller Majority “Extremely Proud” to Be an American,2015, http://www.gallup.com/poll/183911/smaller-majority-extremely-proud-american.aspx?utm_source=Politics&utm_medium=newsfeed&utm_campaign=tiles
- United States Census Bureau. QuickFacts – United State, 2015, http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/00
- Fitzgerald, S. Gallup: 9 in 10 Americans ‘Proud’ of Their Country,2015, http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/gallup-poll-patriotism-july-4/2015/07/03/id/653378/
- Geert Hofstede. United States,2016, https://geert-hofstede.com/united-states.html