Customs & Traditions

How to understand American culture?

American culture includes both conservative and liberal elements equally, materialist and moral elements. Despite certain consistent ideological principles (e.g. individualism, egalitarianism, and faith in freedom and democracy), American culture has a variety of expressions due to its geographical scale and demographic diversity. The flexibility of U.S. culture and its highly symbolic nature lead some researchers to categorize American culture as a mythic identity; others see it as American exceptionalism.
Relationships between Americans tend to be shorter and less intense than those between people from many other cultures, because Americans are taught to be self-reliant and live in a very mobile society. Friendships are “compartmentalized”with“friends at work or friends at school.”  Americans often seem very friendly, even when you first meet them
The average personal distance varies from culture to culture. Americans tend to require more personal space than public space in other cultures. If you try to get too close to an American during your communication, he or she will feel that you are “disturbing” and will try to back away. Try to avoid physical contact while you are speaking, since this may lead to discomfort. Touching is a bit too intimate for casual acquaintances. Don’t put your arm around their shoulder, touch their face, or hold their hand. Shaking hands when you initially meet or part is acceptable, but this is only momentary.
Americans are much more assertive than most international visitors. They use words as tools to express their opinions and to accomplish goals. The United States is a rather individualistic society, with less social pressure to conform. As a result, you will need to become more assertive and to speak out on your own behalf. Take the initiative and volunteer information that will be of interest. In an interview, talk about your goals and accomplishments.
These small things make American culture and are reflected from their art , way of dealing the situations ,one need to have coordinated study of all these elements in order to understand American psyche and culture.

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