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Old 04-10-2014, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Finland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I suspect parts of Mediterrean Europe wouldn't be like that, either. But they're not really more individualistic just less rule-oriented.
Actually people in Spain for example are very polite in traffic: give way if needed, often wait for pedestrians to cross and keep to the right lane. Yes, they block entrances, but otherwise are very polite.

I've heard that Southern Italy is quite bad, in Northern Italy driving is not bad at all if you just keep up with the pace.

The worst traffic is naturally in Russia, and that is a very conformist and family-oriented culture.

And, actually if you give the finger to a German or Dutch in traffic, they surely will go nuts.
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:49 AM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
16,185 posts, read 21,497,457 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
I didn't say it does.

Yes, the South arguably didn't really industrialise after the reconstruction era of the Civil War as well. Yes, it was influenced a lot by the religious communities like the Puritans and others, while in the South it seemed more a matter of economics, like the settlement of the West.
The settlement of the west was a land grab. You wanna talk about haphazard, the early west was about as haphazard as you could have gotten. As far as the south is concerned, it has always had a different culture and outlook.
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:37 AM
 
349 posts, read 318,041 times
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Default American individualism and competitiveness

It seems to me that the United States is particularly individualistic and competitive, on a socio-economic level, even compared to the other Anglo nations like the UK, Canada, Australia, NZ (with Australian being in between the US and UK). Aside from the fact it seems more right-wing/corporate/free market, has a poor social security safety net, no universal healthcare, more of an attitude of making it yourself, e.g. the emphasis on tipping, it also seems that, somewhat ironically, your'e more looked down upon for being a 'loner.' Like a lot of Americans would find the idea of eating at a restaurant alone or travelling the world alone unthinkable. Granted at a 'nice' restaurant it's not that common here, it seems particularly bad in the US, maybe because of the car culture too. Tons of young Aussies, Brits, French, Germans, Canadians, Japanese, Kiwis travel alone, but it seems Americans less so per capita.

I notice Americans like to use the word 'loser' (or the sentiment of calling you a loser) a lot, past high school, and it seems a sort of culture that often mocks and ostracises you. Not saying all Americans, or that doesn't happen in other countries, but it seems particularly American. Bullying happens everywhere but it seems at least according to Hollywood bullying in American schools is rife.
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Old 06-05-2015, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
9,620 posts, read 12,852,095 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoGeeks View Post
It seems to me that the United States is particularly individualistic and competitive, on a socio-economic level, even compared to the other Anglo nations like the UK, Canada, Australia, NZ (with Australian being in between the US and UK).
It is, I'd say.

Quote:
Aside from the fact it seems more right-wing/corporate/free market, has a poor social security safety net, no universal healthcare, more of an attitude of making it yourself, e.g. the emphasis on tipping,
This is all true, and I'd say that it is inextricably linked from what you said in the last paragraph.

Quote:
it also seems that, somewhat ironically, your'e more looked down upon for being a 'loner.'
Although being a "loner" is considered less-than-ideal in mainstream America, I don't believe it's looked down upon to any greater degree than it is in other Anglo nations, due in part to our individualistic streak. It's generally accepted that some people just don't really enjoy being social butterflies, and that's that. I'm fairly introverted in day-to-day life, and no one really ever faulted me for it.

Quote:
Like a lot of Americans would find the idea of eating at a restaurant alone or travelling the world alone unthinkable.
No, not at all... this is a pretty gross misunderstanding or mischaracterization. I honestly don't even know where to start with how wrong this is... You can go to basically any restaurant, casual or sit-down, and see people there alone, and no one is looking at them like they're sad, or pathetic, or creepy.

I worked in hospitality in the US for many years, and the vast bulk of young Aussies, Brits, French, Germans, Canadians, Japanese, and Kiwis I encountered traveled in groups, or at least pairs. It's not quite common that you would get a single, young 20-something who just decided they were gonna take a weeklong trip to the US totally solo.

Conversely, I've known an equal number of young Americans who go solo globetrotting either before or after their stint in China to people of other Euro- or Latin nations.

Quote:
Granted at a 'nice' restaurant it's not that common here, it seems particularly bad in the US, maybe because of the car culture too. Tons of young Aussies, Brits, French, Germans, Canadians, Japanese, Kiwis travel alone, but it seems Americans less so per capita.
The car culture doesn't have that huge an effect on such things.

Quote:
I notice Americans like to use the word 'loser' (or the sentiment of calling you a loser) a lot, past high school, and it seems a sort of culture that often mocks and ostracises you. Not saying all Americans, or that doesn't happen in other countries, but it seems particularly American. Bullying happens everywhere but it seems at least according to Hollywood bullying in American schools is rife.
But those same Hollywood movies usually cast the bullied person as the quiet, sympathetic, unsung hero - part of our individualist culture. The cool, popular cliques are generally portrayed as being simple, petty, mean, and one-dimensional.

I hear "loser" used by people of other Anglo origins with about the same frequency I do Americans.
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Old 06-05-2015, 10:23 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
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Personally for me, eating at a restaurant alone or traveling alone is rather boring. I've done it a few times, but it just feels better to share those kinds of experiences with people that you care about. I enjoy going out with my family all the time. If I want to eat alone, I just do a carry-out.

I think you can feel like a loser if you're not getting ahead in life, being successful with your career and making money and things like that. I felt like that at one time when I was younger. So, there is some truth to that.

Bullying in schools is somewhat of an issue, but it's not really that big of a deal. There are some stupid kids and teenagers out there that are wannabes. Movies and tv like to show those things because audiences are entertained by them. However, the much bigger issue in school for Americans is getting good enough grades to go to college and being successful in life. If you screw that up, then you can be left behind. Many people find that out the hard way.

Last edited by BigCityDreamer; 06-05-2015 at 10:53 AM..
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Old 06-05-2015, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
6,554 posts, read 4,731,222 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoGeeks View Post
I notice Americans like to use the word 'loser' (or the sentiment of calling you a loser) a lot, past high school, and it seems a sort of culture that often mocks and ostracises you. Not saying all Americans, or that doesn't happen in other countries, but it seems particularly American. Bullying happens everywhere but it seems at least according to Hollywood bullying in American schools is rife.
Loser is actually an extremely popular internet meme here, it usually refers to the guys who've never been in a relationship with any girl. It's actually quite hilarious.
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Old 06-05-2015, 10:33 AM
 
349 posts, read 318,041 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 415_s2k View Post
It is, I'd say.


This is all true, and I'd say that it is inextricably linked from what you said in the last paragraph.


Although being a "loner" is considered less-than-ideal in mainstream America, I don't believe it's looked down upon to any greater degree than it is in other Anglo nations, due in part to our individualistic streak. It's generally accepted that some people just don't really enjoy being social butterflies, and that's that. I'm fairly introverted in day-to-day life, and no one really ever faulted me for it.


No, not at all... this is a pretty gross misunderstanding or mischaracterization. I honestly don't even know where to start with how wrong this is... You can go to basically any restaurant, casual or sit-down, and see people there alone, and no one is looking at them like they're sad, or pathetic, or creepy.

I worked in hospitality in the US for many years, and the vast bulk of young Aussies, Brits, French, Germans, Canadians, Japanese, and Kiwis I encountered traveled in groups, or at least pairs. It's not quite common that you would get a single, young 20-something who just decided they were gonna take a weeklong trip to the US totally solo.

Conversely, I've known an equal number of young Americans who go solo globetrotting either before or after their stint in China to people of other Euro- or Latin nations.


The car culture doesn't have that huge an effect on such things.


But those same Hollywood movies usually cast the bullied person as the quiet, sympathetic, unsung hero - part of our individualist culture. The cool, popular cliques are generally portrayed as being simple, petty, mean, and one-dimensional.

I hear "loser" used by people of other Anglo origins with about the same frequency I do Americans.
I guess it's not that different to here. I think the less urban nature of most American cities bar a few - NYC, Boston, Philly, DC, Miami, Chicago, SF, NOLA - sort of discourages pedestrian activity.

True I've met solo Americans, but per capita I've met more Canadian solo travellers here. Sure, a lot of us travel in groups abroad, but the whole idea of backpacking solo, doing a gap year, just doesn't seem a part of life for young people in much of the US compared to here. But per capita Americans travel abroad the least out of the Anglo nations too.
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Old 06-05-2015, 10:34 AM
 
349 posts, read 318,041 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
Personally for me, eating at a restaurant alone or traveling alone is rather boring. I've done it a few times, but it just feels better to share those kinds of experiences with people that you care about. I enjoy going out with my family all the time. If I want to eat alone, I just do a carry-out.

I think you can feel like a loser if you're not getting ahead in life, being successful with your career and making money and things like that. I felt like that at one time when I was younger. So, there is some truth to that.
When travelling alone I often meet people and am more willing to talk to others than if I'm in a group.

I usually just go in, eat and leave.

That's the case everywhere, but it just SEEMS to me it's most extreme in the US. One common thing about Anglo nations is that it's uncommon to still live with your parents past the age of 25, but due to the cost of housing it's becoming more common here.
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Old 06-05-2015, 08:44 PM
 
520 posts, read 390,652 times
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Individualism and competitiveness is what built this country and yours too by the way. They tend to not teach that as much anymore. If you really want to understand America, rather than watching all the Hollywood tripe you seem to base your pretty amusing generalizations on such as Loser, you would do well to instead watch a documentary mini series. Its called the Men Who Built America. Go find it online or something. And you can find out the true stories of just about everything we take for granted today from electricity to gas to light bulbs to cars. And youll learn about the men that built them, and multibillion industries they created. And youll get a proper respect like I had about how individualism and propriety, and competetiveness affected a group of otherwise pretty average Americans most of whom were immigrants. We built this world because we are those things. And America is still built today on all of the above. Do you think a safety net and a big government can create a Steve Jobs and an Apple? Or a Mark Zuckerberg and a Facebook? Or a Jeff Bezos and an Amazon? Government does nothing well. Nothing. And all you need do is walk into a government office offering any service for a visual demonstration of that point. It is small individuals with big ideas that makes us great.
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Old 06-05-2015, 10:38 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,805 posts, read 17,078,295 times
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Its mostly older successful suburban folks who think everyone in the world must take the same path in life as them, go to college, get a good paying job, buy a chevy tahoe, and a nice big 5 bedroom house.

however not all successful people are like that of course.

Working class Americans are pretty chill/laid back however.
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