Apunte Inglés
Universidad Universidad Pompeu Fabra (UPF)
Grado Traducción e Interpretación - 2º curso
Asignatura Language 5 (english)
Año del apunte 2017
Páginas 5
Fecha de subida 03/07/2017
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AMERICAN CULTURE (American Values) Sandra Moreno Saez Maria Vara Viruel Seminar 401 United states of America, composed of 50 states, is one of the first world powers.
Everyone knows the American steroids or its most emblematic places, but not everyone knows how their population is, how they think, act and, the most important thing, why they do it.
We could say that the United States is a multicultural nation, largely because of the great diversity of races and ethnicities that make it up. This is due to the fact that a large part of the population vere immigrants from Europe, African slaves and, in recent times, South Americans. This has made the culture and its traditions a set of all that originally had each group.
There are many values in the US that can be discussed, but the most significant ones are: the individuality, the privacy, equality, punctuality, exemplary worker, future and change, openness, class-conscious people and solidarity.
Firstly, from a young age, children are encouraged to be independent, unique, not to depend emotionally or economically on anyone. Each one is free, and is always encouraged to self-overcome to be someone important. They do not like to be classified within a group, as they are believed to be unique and individual.
Secondly, privacy it’s very important to them, and they feel offended when someone intrudes on private affairs. So, each one takes care of their things without looking at others'.
Thirdly, about equality, is known the inequality suffered by blacks, used as slaves by whites, living in inhuman conditions. In turn, the woman as in the whole world, had to fight also to be able to put itself to the height of the man in rights and conditions. For Americans, equality between women and men and among ethnicities is very important. Although, as elsewhere, there are people who do not agree that everyone has the same right as others to believe they are superior, but that is why we must stop considering equality as one of the most important values in American society.
Fourthly, for Americans, time is money. They do not hesitate to make the most of it. In turn, it is very badly seen unpunctuality, and is considered a very serious lack of punctuality. In universities, colleges and jobs, it is severely penalized to be late. Also, it is considered a bad taste to waste the others time.
Fifthly, the American is considered a great worker, being a big compliment the fact that they tell you that you work well. They work very hard always trying to be the best, being also very competitive among them but not only in work, also in the studies. Is very well considered self-improvement and being a winner. Is closely linked with the aforementioned value of taking advantage of time.
Sixthly, they are constantly looking to the future to get closer, to get more innovations and to renew themselves. Perhaps for lack of an old society and lacking in much history like Arabs, Asians or Europeans, Americans see the past as useless and unnecessary. Some will say that history is useless, and that what matters is the future. Even suffer some rejection towards the old customs that govern the lives of many people.
Seventhly, Americans consider themselves very open and sincere with themselves as with the others. Is very poorly seen cheating, and prefer to be clear and concise. Sometimes, for some cultures perhaps more sentimental, are marked off cold and distant. In addition, they will always try to speak constructively and not destructively.
Eighthly, although we have previously said that they think about equality, it is also true that Americans feel the need to classify people for their achievements and economic goods. They might consider that someone is not "good enough" because of their work, where they studied, or their personal gains and accomplishments.
And finally, helping the most needy is vital in American life. They consider it a duty to help those who do not have resources or need assistance, along with the most disadvantaged or the victims of natural disasters.
Trying to compare some American values with ours in Spain, we found that most of the population of America thinks that sometimes it is necessary to use the military force to maintain the order of the nation and of the world. We also think that sometimes it is necessary, but if they have to help us, they would not do it; they are so individualistic that they do not mind what happens to us, only a 39% of the Americans would help other countries to deal with their problems; that is another difference between their values and ours.
Religion is also something very important to Americans, they say that is necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values. Education plays an important role in this believing and they think that religion is more important than their national identity. They feel Christians before Americans. In Spain, this do not happen. There are many religions living together and you can find any kind of people, but generally, they do not feel religion at the same level of them.
Nowadays homosexuality is better looked that some years ago. Americans now tolerate more this word and have more respect to these people who are homosexual, they say that homosexuality should be accepted by society, but not all of them. It stills being a 33% that do not tolerate them, whereas in Spain only an 8% do not see it well.
Americans think that they culture is superior to the others, but say that their people are not perfect; this believe has declined. This does not happen in all America, people who did not graduate from college do not think so, but the ones who did, agrees that theory. Most of the society thinks that it is more important to be free to pursue their life’s goals without the interference of the state, while another part of the society says that it is more important for the state to plan an active role in the society to guarantee that nobody is in need.
We can conclude that American culture is very different to ours, but this happens with all, because each culture has its characteristics and its manners. In general, all their values have improved during the years, but for Spanish people many things continue being wrong. We cannot judge them because we have to respect their culture and values, as well as they have to do it and everybody in the world should do it.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: (2017). U S Values. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 May 2017].
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