Essay about Culture Differences

Submitted By nikosen
Words: 689
Pages: 3

Are We Really That Different?

“American values and Assumptions” is a book written by Gary Althen, and it explains how American values and assumptions differ from other cultures. Mr. Althens book made me understand that there are some similar attributes between my Swedish culture and the American, but in general, our ingrained values are the same. The book describes around fifteen different examples of how cultural values can be interpreted, and from those fifteen beliefs I chose two values, “privacy” as value that I really like and appreciate, and the value of “competition” as a moral I’m not very fond of.

One of the best moments in life is when I do whatever I want, all by myself, and that is what privacy is all about. People do not always like to be alone, that’s understandable, but how can someone stand being with others all the time? There is no better thing then to come home after a long and stressful day, fill up your hot tub with warm water, light some candles and just lay in the hot tub and relax. Even if just for an hour, not depend on others or listen to different kind of problems can be really good for your body and soul. From the book, the author explains that “Americans have great difficulty understanding people who always want to be with another person, who dislike being alone”; however, that is the typical Swedish way of thinking. The typical Swedish girl would say: Why would you be alone when you can share every moment with others? That is true, but privacy is not just about being alone, it’s more about finding yourself, and doing things like reading or watching a movie without anyone or anything else to think about. Privacy is a necessary requirement in life. On the other hand, the contrast of being private and to relax is to be stressed out and compete with others, which leads me to my next point.

I have always believed that people in general work better in a team; therefore the value of competition is a value that I dislike. Here in America, people always seem to be in a race with one other and stressing out, instead of teaming up and helping each other. It doesn’t matter if it’s in school, work, or in the private life, everyone seems to compete over who has the best job, best grades, or the newest and best phone. The author gives an excellent example: “People who are competing with others are essentially alone, trying to maintain their superiority and, implicitly, their separateness from others”. Maintaining your superiority and implicitly is