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Old 01-29-2014, 12:04 PM
 
Location: East coast
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When and how did it first develop? Do you think the difference is that great?

One thing I was reading was about how despite Americans and Australians both having their national character development happening on the frontier, in a New World setting, the attitudes differed so that Americans ended up with the more individualistic streak and Aussies with the more egalitarian streak (like Tall Poppy Syndrome, which doesn't jive with American culture) as each country settled their land.

My question is partly, why and how would this difference develop, and is it really as major or significant as people say, in influencing the two cultures today?
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by markovian process View Post

My question is partly, why and how would this difference develop, and is it really as major or significant as people say, in influencing the two cultures today?
I don't think they are opposites at all, and in some ways they are pretty similar. The difference is more about balance points: the welfare of the group compared to the welfare of the individual. Sounds fine, but individuals exits in society (groups), and groups are collections of individuals.

Either way, both countries have walked away from the old word view of the place of the individual compared compared to the state/King/gentry - evolved feudalism.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Top of the South, NZ
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Tall poppy is an overused term. It's mostly trotted out by whiney muppets, who can't handle a bit of criticism or ridicule.

I think the individualism thing is a bit overdone as well. In my time working in the States as well as knowing Americans, I've felt like I've never really seen that trait in action.

A recent example of how individualism doesn't really represent a coherent trait amongst Americans, was just recently when an American told me that people in the US would never have a shared driveway (the one being discussed was 2 km long) as they were too individualistic. That's a pretty lame example, and one that's not true anyway.
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Old 01-29-2014, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Hmmm, I think the whole idea of 'mateship' is sometimes overplayed, just tack on a new term and act like it's unique to Australia. Having close friends you stay by is hardly a trait unique to Australia, nor is the concept of fairness or egalitarianism or having a 'fair go'. America's individualism is linked to it's settlement as a 'free colony' where anyone could be someone if they worked hard enough. I'd say Australia has a similar ethos, even the lowliest convicts could work their way up and become rich and successful. Many of the rich landowners indeed were.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Australia
243 posts, read 433,524 times
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Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Hmmm, I think the whole idea of 'mateship' is sometimes overplayed, just tack on a new term and act like it's unique to Australia. Having close friends you stay by is hardly a trait unique to Australia, nor is the concept of fairness or egalitarianism or having a 'fair go'. America's individualism is linked to it's settlement as a 'free colony' where anyone could be someone if they worked hard enough. I'd say Australia has a similar ethos, even the lowliest convicts could work their way up and become rich and successful. Many of the rich landowners indeed were.

ha, was going to say basically what you said, so I will just say 'what he ^^^ said'. lol.

Mateship isn't something exclusive to Australia, it happens everywhere- people pull together
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:30 AM
 
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Was it a political movement? I'm not sure Australia is actually any more egalitarian than the US, but I've heard allusions to that before.

As for individualism, there are a lot of Americans (mostly liberals) who reject it outright. And in that case, their rejection of the ethos or concept of individualism is 100% political, because it is viewed at an impediment to their socialist or communist objectives and agenda.
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