Americans are culturally inferior

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  • #26
Monique
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Originally posted by PeteGt
This is where our ideals differ greatly.
I think that cultures and traditions are very important to hold on to. If I were to choose to move to Italy, I'd respect their culture and adjust myself to it, otherwise I wouldn't move. Those feelings also originate from the situation where there are a lot of Muslims in the Netherlands who have a very hard time integrating and are thus outsiders. You'd have to learn the countries' customs and especially language in order to survive. I like to see a multicultural world where you can feel Italian when you are in Italy, feel French when you are in France. As long as everybody is respected.


We are multi-cultural, yet we have no culture? This is an oxymoron.

I think that maybe the bigger picture needs to be looked at. Our huge diversity brings upon our own culture together. Formed of all little cultures we have our own. Kind of like bringing different reagents into a reaction to form one compound.

Though you might look at that and say, well then you're not multi-cultural, our individual compenents make us multi. No matter what. And they also bring us to be a culture amongst ourselves. A paradox if you will, but the truth.

Pete
You are right. And in this world it gets harder everyday to define a countries' culture due to a world market. The US definately has a culture because of it's multicultureness :) but it lacks the history of tradition and customs that I feel comfortable with. Here the suburbs were created in the 70s and 80s, which makes me feel that there is no culture since everything is so new and not settled down. I love to stroll down streets and see the architecture and feel the life which the city has lived..
 
  • #27
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Come to hagerstown. We have much history and can feel how we all live. Plus there are good National history venues around. E.g. Antietam battlefield.

pete
 
  • #28
Kerrie
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yea, we americans are the spoiled brats - to a degree, but as Monique truthfully stated, americans do work hard - and our borders are open to others who desire the opportunity to exercise free speech and a chance to work for themselves...i have had two different relatives immigrate from europe to america, and have led successful and happy lives...

as far as our inferior culture, we are only a little over 200 years old
 
  • #29
LURCH
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Originally posted by Kerrie
our borders are open to others who desire the opportunity to exercise free speech and a chance to work for themselves...
It is within these freedoms that the chief cause of American "segregation" may lie. Although it is true that enforced segregation has been outlawed in the United States, the freedom of the individual to self-determination remains very important. Therefore, if a white supremacist, or a Black Panther, or Muslim extremist is unwilling to interact with members of other races or beliefs, they will not be forced to do so. If a person from a different culture finds the adaptation to America's "melting pot" culture to difficult or undesirable, they also will not be forced.

Groups of such people may form their own communities, so that they may have others "of their own sort" with whom to interact. The formation of such communities could be said to constitute a sort of self-imposed segregation. Though the practice is seen as quite distasteful by most Americans, the only way to eradicate it completely would be the removal of individuals' personal freedoms.

I find it quite ironic that our culture of tolerance has put us in this position. Now, if we wish to live up to our own ideals, we must be tolerant of intolerance!
 
  • #30
Zero
The problem with American culture is that it is seemingly dumbed down rehash of 'real' culture.
 
  • #31
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If we stick exclusively to the
issue of culture and exercise
control in avoiding the temptation
of closely related subjects (which
not even the originator of this
thread was able to do), I would
have to report that I have found
many other cultures to be more
appealing than my own.

To refer to any culture as super-
ior or inferior to another is a
blanket statement so large, thick
and heavy that anyone who crawls
under it to sleep will end up
in discomfort.
 
  • #32
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Monique
Well, maybe I used the wrong word.
Clarification for you and Shadow. There are two kinds of segregation:

De Jure (by law or enforced) segregation is what Shadow is describing. Laws that mandated segregation of the races. This is usually what is meant when it is just referred to as "segregation."

De Facto (in fact) segregation is what exists in some places now. This is segregation that happens on its own such as between inner cities and suburbs (Detroit was cited). No one is FORCING the races apart in this case. There are a variety of reasons for it. Someone mentioned socioeconomic status. Another reason is simple personal cultural preference. In any case, this is often cited (largely by those with a political adjenda) as being related to De Jure segregation, but it isn't. In fact, depending on the context, there is often nothing at all even wrong with it.

As for the topic of this thread... [zz)]
 
  • #33
Why is this thread still going on?
 
  • #34
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I know what you mean. I just had
an ominous sounding metaphor and
needed someplace to dump it.

-Zoob
 
  • #35
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To refer to any culture as super-
ior or inferior to another is a
blanket statement so large, thick
and heavy that anyone who crawls
under it to sleep will end up
in discomfort

---- zoobyshoe

(On "are Americans are culturally inferior?" )
21st century
physics forums

Great quote Keep it up :wink: :smile:

As far as the validity of the above statement is concerned I agree with most of it.I feel that even the definition of culture is culture-dependent e.g. in western countries the work-ethic and the efficiency is simply uncomparable to most of Asian/African countries ( as EnTrOpY put it) so they see it as the most important constituent of any culture (may be rightly so,but it is always debatable).
On the other hand Asian countries boast of their conservativeness(this includes things related to restrain on things like promiscuity ,infidelty etc considered 'bad' there),more amiable and humble nature of their people.They see these as the major constituents of any culture, again debatable.
 
  • #36
6,265
1,280
Yeeaaah...But I just had an
ominous sounding metaphor and
needed someplace to dump it.
 
  • #37
18
0
This thread died rather quickly...
 
  • #38
16
0
When I was young

[Someone said the notion of culture itself is culturally embedded]. When I was young, I was a cultural relativist too.
I thought the notion of culture itself was very western, and even bourgeois.
But with getting older, you come to appreciate the value of seemingly superficial things like polls and social statistics. They easily point to crosscultural and universal social thoughts and practises, they go beyond relativism, even if they only seem to scratch the surface of peoples thoughts. (I no longer believe in concepts of "deep culture").

In this context, it may be interesting to discuss the now infamous global poll which asked all kinds of questions on the theme "what the world thinks of America".
The results were incredible, to say the least ("South Koreans see the USA as their biggest threat, not North Korea", etc...pretty amazing).

I think these kinds of polls point to a general discomfort with America, which can eventually ruin its status and its might.

That's actually everything I was referring to. Culture may ruin you, in the long run.

I only used the crude statement "Americans are culturally inferior" in response to another poster who said "Americans are genetically superior". If you take it out of its context, it's a pretty lame line.

Anyway, I'm glad this thread didn't bring anything new, and that we all agree on the basic idea that America is an aggressive culture and that it should no longer get away with colonizing countries just like that. Colonizing in the deep sense of the word: forcing others to live like yourself.

The world no longer accepts this. And this is a major shift. It's now the US's turn to adapt to the world, no longer the other way round.

Thanks for the interesting comments!
 
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  • #39
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In this context, it may be interesting to discuss the global poll which asked all kinds of questions on the theme "what the world thinks of America".
The results were incredible, to say the least ("South Koreans see the USA as their biggest threat, not North Korea", etc...pretty amazing).
Show me this poll.

I only used the crude statement "Americans are culturally inferior" in response to another poster who said "Americans are genetically superior". If you take it out of its context, it's a pretty lame line.
If you want to go against what one person said, do not (I say this with the lack of a better word) punish other posters by insulting the many Americans on the board. Send the person that posted that statement a PM.


Anyway, I'm glad this thread didn't bring anything new, and that we all agree on the basic idea that America is an aggressive culture and that it should no longer get away with colonizing countries just like that. Colonizing in the deep sense of the word: forcing others to live like yourself.
Where did you even get that impression? we dont agree that we are an agressive culture. And I can promise you that the average American would not walk into a place in your country and begin shooting his/her mouth off saying that your country was culturally inferior and that your culture is aggressive. We dont force other to live like us. Where did you get that idea? Pay a visit to Afghanistan I can assure you they aren't upset about being free. I can't see where you get the idea we are forcing them to do anything. We pushed out the Taliban and Al Queda. We aren't dictating them.
 
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  • #40
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I'm surprised you haven't seen or read or watched the poll.
Strange. Many Americans haven't.

Here's the link.
(You can watch the video, it's been aired in over 41 languages all over the world, perhaps not in the USA itself, I'm not sure).


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/wtwta/default.stm [Broken]



Please, before anyone starts critizing the BBC--the poll was taken by 11 broadcasting corporations of 11 different countries and all with different political affiliations.
 
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  • #41
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The poll is interesting because it included a "hidden" meta-poll. This meta-poll shows that Americans have a totally "wrong" image of what the world thinks about them. All other nations have a "right" image of what they think others think about themselves AND about America.
Americans basically think that the entire world loves them, while the entire world knows that they fool themselves by thinking that. Americans are not aware of this.
To me, this is highly significant, and a very imporatant cultural fact: a culture that doesn't stand in an open relationship with others is a threat to itself.
 
  • #42
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Hahaha yeah...you are right and all americans are wrong. Tell me Shonagon what country are you from?
 
  • #43
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hey, it's not me saying this. the poll is suggesting this. you may just as well take a look at it. you can easily find the meta-poll on the page of the poll-results.


I'm from Denmark, EU.

Nice to meet you.


Which state are you from?
 
  • #44
russ_watters
Mentor
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6,282


Originally posted by shonagon53
The results were incredible, to say the least ("South Koreans see the USA as their biggest threat, not North Korea", etc...pretty amazing).
Judging by the bad grammar, I'd say thats not a direct quote even though you put it in quotes. Looking at the link you posted, I don't see anything that even suggests that. Could you be more specific with your citation?
The poll is interesting because it included a "hidden" meta-poll. This meta-poll shows that Americans have a totally "wrong" image of what the world thinks about them. All other nations have a "right" image of what they think others think about themselves AND about America.
Thats hilarious. I repeat Shadow's objection: Show me this poll. Cite it more specifically.

THIS story is actually self contradictory. The title says "Poll Suggests World Hostile to US" but if you scroll to the bottom you see "Attitudes towards America as a whole, however, were a lot more favourable, with 50% expressing fairly or very favourable views, as opposed to 40% of unfavourable views."

Oops.
 
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  • #45
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Why can't you just visit the page? It's all there. I don't have to cite all the results in here, do I?


And about my bad grammar, I have already apologized for not speaking English that well. It's not my native language. I hope you don't judge the content of the debate on that.


The results of the poll are clear. In the section about military threats, you'll find the result that says that most non-Anglosaxon nations see America as a bigger threat to peace than North Korea.

Just check the results, please. Then we have some basis for a conversation.
 
  • #46
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Originally posted by russ_watters
Judging by the bad grammar, I'd say thats not a direct quote even though you put it in quotes. Looking at the link you posted, I don't see anything that even suggests that. Could you be more specific with your citation? Thats hilarious. I repeat Shadow's objection: Show me this poll. Cite it more specifically.

THIS story is actually self contradictory. The title says "Poll Suggests World Hostile to US" but if you scroll to the bottom you see "Attitudes towards America as a whole, however, were a lot more favourable, with 50% expressing fairly or very favourable views, as opposed to 40% of unfavourable views."

Oops.

You find the results of the poll on the middle of the page. As you can see, the poll asked about many different things (going from cultural production to economics to military threats). You just cited a detail.


What's more, the poll shows an incredible alliance between Israel and the US. If one would leave Israel out, the results would be even worse. (Israelis are more in favor of American foreign policy than Americans themselves).
 
  • #47
kat
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Originally posted by shonagon53
Why can't you just visit the page? It's all there. I don't have to cite all the results in here, do I?


And about my bad grammar, I have already apologized for not speaking English that well. It's not my native language. I hope you don't judge the content of the debate on that.


The results of the poll are clear. In the section about military threats, you'll find the result that says that most non-Anglosaxon nations see America as a bigger threat to peace than North Korea.

Just check the results, please. Then we have some basis for a conversation.
Hello Shonagon53,
I think Russ was objecting to your use of quotation marks around your own statements as opposed to disparaging your grammer (at least I hope that is the case)

I also think it is not correct to state that the poll shows "that most non-Anglosaxon nations" as this poll is limited to only a handful of countries. A more truthful statement would be "of the non-Anglo-saxon nations polled, most.."

The poll is enlightening, and shows just how poor of a job our media and PR departments are doing in portraying Americans as they really are in many of the areas polled. Jordan and Korea seem to be particularly confused on several issues, Korea appears (if I'm reading correctly) to be supporting the statement that U.S. presence in that area of the country increases peace and stability and yet also claims U.S. is more dangerous...

As I had mentioned in another thread I spent a week with a group of South African teens and adults in a cultural exchange retreat, Sort of a mini Seeds-of-Peace and it was enlightening to hear some of the statements of the South African's in regards to misconceptions they had prior to coming here and getting to know a few dozen of us. It was also interesting that much of the misconceptions were due to media portrayal and that through the media we were viewed as selfish, self occupied, rich and spoiled etc, yet in interviews with reporters there were many statements similar to this:

"the camp opened her eyes to many things, especially the wrong image of Americans she had from the media. She thought everyone here would be greedy, out to get whatever they can, and were bullies.

"My concept of Americans has been revolutionized and has changed 100 percent," she said. "The people here want to give you as much as they can."
 
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  • #48
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And about my bad grammar, I have already apologized for not speaking English that well. It's not my native language. I hope you don't judge the content of the debate on that.
Yeah you did apologize about not speaking English the point is though, that you put that line in quotes, and it's obvious to me now (I didn't catch it before) that either the article about South Korea says nothing like that and you made that up yourself, OR that those were your opinions.
 
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  • #49
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I'd also like to ask Shonagonif he knew anything about the countries in that poll. Canada, although we still have a military alliance has been "upset" with us for some time about the friendly fire incidents. France is quite self explanatory. I mean, do you think people, that are led by a president that was caught giving taped conversations to Saddam, would actually like us? I'd like to see the results France got in the Normandy area, they have sense because thhey know that US troops died there. Many of our soldiers have graves there. At least they didn't forget how many of our soldiers died liberating their country.

Brazil and the US haven't been getting along for a while, so it seems that the BBC clearly wanted the majority of countries in teh poll to dislike the US. Jordan, although our ally, MANY people there do not like us because of Afghanistan and Iraq. You can even look at some posts Zargawee made a few months ago. He lives in Jordan and knows all about it. That's 4 out of 11 countries right there, I would post more but I have a busy schedule for this part of the day and I'm afraid someone else will have to post.
 
  • #50
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First, about the quotes, I think that's a detail, right? I mean the poll suggests that a majority of South Koreans see America as a bigger threat than North Korea. [Actually, more Koreans see America as the bigger threat than North Korea; not the majority but more]. Wether I put this in quotations or not, doesn't change the fact.

Ok, so that's really a detail.

About France, I can tell you quite a lot about the country. I have lived there on and off for about half my life (I'm half french).
I think the current Europe-wide (and global) anti-Americanism is not best represented by France.

France's frustration is mainly due to its past of being an Empire that's no longer there. As we all know, there's a huge number of French speaking countries around, and they're silently being Americanized. La Francofonie can't stand that really.

Also, the French have always had a difficult relation with the US, mainly because the USA didn't recognize De Gaulles efforts in the Second World war.

One thing I "advise" Anglosaxon people not to try with continental Europeans, is tell them that they were liberated only by Anglosaxons (like "if it weren't for us, you'd be speaking German", etc...). That works out very wrong. Because all they do in such a case, is point out the far greater efforts of the Russians and the Red Army.

There's even a trend nowadays in Europe, to "revise" the history of WWII in favor of the Russians. It has long been a taboo. But in retrospect, it is clear that the Russian effort was just as crucial for the liberation of Europe, than the UK-US effort. Maybe even more important.

So this all adds up. Add an arrogant man like Rumsfeld, who talks about "Old Europe", and people get angry. I mean, certainly if this comes from a man who's a simple liar and a criminal (who put Saddam in power in the first place).

But then, everybody has his own explanation for the now global wave of anti-Americanism. I tend to favor those analysts who say that anti-Americanism is the new superpower.
[PLease check the ongoing homepage with many professional analyses on Anti-Americanism:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/archive/2368165.stm]

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2596123.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2544599.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2552875.stm


I think that's sad and that something has to be done in order to counter it. But I think it is already too late.

Anti-Americanism has never been so strong and so global. It is dangerous.



There's no region on the planet I can imagine which is favorable to the US right now (except for obvious colonies like Israel or Australia, and even Australia isn't that favorable).


Anyway, we see all kinds of new dynamics speed up. The French have increased their efforts to build a strong Europe, together with Germany, and all signs are there: it's going very very well. The EU is now more powerful than ever before. When Russia joins in 2010, the EU will be a superpower (not in the classic sense, but in the contemporary sense of the term).

I think this is for the better. It's good for the USA not to be the sole superpower, because it will ruin them in the long run.


So, long live a strong EU and a more humble USA!


[sorry, this post is a bit fuzzy, but there's so much to talk about on this topic].
 
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