Реферат: American values

Svetlana Levanova, 512 AE


It is believedthat we learn our culture only through knowledge of other cultures. That is whyit is necessary to compare and analyze their basic values and beliefs.

The most importantthing to understand about American is probably their devotion to individualism.They have been trained since very early in their lives to consider themselvesas separate individuals who are responsible for their own situations in lifeand their own destinies. They have not been trained to see themselves asmembers of a close-knit, tightly interdependent family, religious group, tribe,nation, or other collectivity. Conversely Russians find themselves part of somegroup. They always have some kind of attachment, especially family relations.

Anotherdistinctive difference is in the attitude to change and future. Americans aregenerally less concerned about history and traditions than are people fromolder societies. «History doesn't matter,» many of them will say.«It's the future that counts.» They look ahead. People from many other cultures, as well as Russian,have a pronounced reverence for the past. In those cultures the future isconsidered to be in the hands of fate, God, or at least the few powerful peopleor families dominating society.

Time is also ofgreat importance in the USA. For Americans, time is a resource, like water orcoal, which can be used well or poorly. «Time is money.» Thus,Americans admire a well-organized person, one who has a written list of thingsto do and a schedule for doing them. The ideal person is punctual andconsiderate of other people's time. Russians are more likely to conceive oftime as something that is simply there around them, not something they can use.

The values andbeliefs that we point out as national can be found worldwide. But what isplausible in the USA is not quite valid in Russia. Whereas Americans value oneconcept, in Russia it is not paid any special attention.

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