Misunderstandings of a Foreigner in American Culture Essay

Misunderstandings of a Foreigner in American Culture Essay

Length: 1671 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

I still remember the shock I got when I first moved here. What a terribly superficial culture this country has, I thought. The way people treat each other, especially in conversations! At the beginning they ask you: "How are you?" But beware! They don't really want to know how you are, and if you make the mistake of actually giving them a detailed account of your well-being, they'll shun you for weeks. On the other hand, you're required to immediately embrace all new acquaintances with the standard "Nice to meet you." Maybe you weren't even in the mood to meet somebody at this particular moment, and if she or he turns out to be just another perfectly intolerable human being, then you lied to the entire world around you! I had some serious objections to this whole game. Unfortunately, even I am human and realized that it was either going to be adaptation or getting the heck out of this country, and my finances narrowed it down to the first choice.

In addition to my little blunders with American small talk, I also had quite a few instances of misunderstandings, and it certainly was not because my English wasn't fluent! I could tell you about the time I had an enticing little talk with a seriously cute guy who threw me a "I'll call you later" at the end of the conversation. Dummy me, sat by the phone the rest of the evening waiting for him to call. Is this an instance of gendered communication, or is it just a sign of the "American" times? How often do we use these vague phrases to be non-committal with almost anybody? These sentences have lost any actual meaning; they're an easy, "polite" way out of any situation. We refuse to give a concrete answer and therefore we can't be tied down to any kind of commitment. It's a good way to...


... middle of paper ...


...erstood! -- by the opposite sex I would like men to be on the lookout for these revolutionary and radical women because, after all, we women have the power to send you all back to your beloved "caves"!

Works Cited

Gray, John. "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus." Writing the World: Reading and Writing about Issues of the Day. Ed. Charles R. Cooper and Susan Peck MacDonald. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2000. 16-25.

Tannen, Deborah. "'Put Down That Paper and Talk to Me: Rapport-Talk and Report-Talk." Writing the World: Reading and Writing about Issues of the Day. Ed. Charles R. Cooper and Susan Peck MacDonald. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2000. 8-16.

Troernel-Ploetz, Senta. "Selling the Apolitical". Writing the World: Reading and Writing about Issues of the Day. Ed. Charles R. Cooper and Susan Peck MacDonald. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2000. 67-73.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Misunderstandings in Culturally Diverse Workplaces Essay

- This essay will explain issues that occur in culturally diverse workplaces and describe how personal conceptions may contribute to misunderstandings when working with others in culturally diverse workplaces. This essay will also discuss the impact of cultural differences when conflict occurs and it will give suggestions on how to resolve and manage this conflict. An explanation of who to discuss the conflict with in a work environment will also be discussed in this essay. The issues that arise in a culturally diverse workplace need to be known and identified by counsellors to ensure they are aware of any obstacle forming....   [tags: social issues, culture, misunderstandings]

Powerful Essays
1210 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Assimilation: The Drawbacks of Cross-Cultural Misunderstandings

- The author of the book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures, Anne Fadiman exhibits a story about the collision between two cultures and the way things affected the character’s lives. The main character, Lia, is found grasped in a dilemma within her family’s culture and the American lifestyle. Since a baby, Lia suffered form epileptic seizures, which were viewed as a positive trait for the Hmong community; those people who suffered from seizures were credited to be a twix neeb, in other words, “a person with healing spirit” (Fadiman 21)....   [tags: Culture ]

Powerful Essays
1530 words (4.4 pages)

Cultural Culture And American Culture Essay

- Being born and raised in America, I have grown to love my country, and my nationality. I am apart of many cultures, I am ethnically Swedish and am Christian. I am very nerdy, and am quite the hipster. All of these are different cultures that I could have chosen to write this paper on. But if I had to pick a culture that I think is the most prevalent in my everyday life, it would be the American culture. I feel like all of these sub-cultures I am apart of are only possible because I am a part of the American culture....   [tags: Culture, United States, American culture]

Powerful Essays
948 words (2.7 pages)

The Decay of the American Culture Essay

- Anxiety and affluence are terms that are often applied to the post war decades in an attempt to define them. The newfound wealth that Americans enjoyed after World War II wrought changes on the American social landscape that many may not have been able to predict. The push for heavy consumerism that accompanied the sudden upswing of the U.S. economy gave way to concerns about the decay of moral character in the American home. Increasingly filled with anxieties over the ever-present threat of Communism, which most Americans were aware was an issue they themselves could do little about, the population instead turned towards new distractions, such as television, to attempt to reclaim some sense...   [tags: American Culture]

Powerful Essays
1290 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on The, American, And American Culture

- “American” Me. Descending from minority-driven ancestries, it’s hard to truly call myself an American, ethnically at least. Scratch that. I’m going to dispel the notion that being an American is a way of describing someone. No one is truly American, not even natural born citizens. We are all descendants of either Natives, Africans, Asians, or Europeans, and even those ethnic groups were derived from even earlier ancestors. The point is: the suggestion that an American identity exists, is a myth....   [tags: United States, Latin America, Americas]

Powerful Essays
1522 words (4.3 pages)

Hispanic American Culture Dance Essay

- Hispanic American community are rooted from their origins in Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and other Spanish speaking countries that have come together and form a culture in the United State of America. The culture is built in different categories; for instance, religion, social custom, health practices their privacy, and birth. They come from a comprehensive familiar culture that has been called the second in America. Because of their pride and affection they feel unsafe to give up their past. Their notoriety in the United State has been their resistance to assimilate; their guarded image of Hispanic-American culture has been the tongue of flame....   [tags: Hispanic, American, Culture, Dancing, ]

Powerful Essays
925 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Impatience and The Death of American Culture

- Earth, with all of her wondrous splendor and magnificent awe, is a land of patience. It took more than 4.5 billion years for the world to evolve into its current state. Yet, it took only several hundred years for humans to deface and destroy much of that beauty. A logical question would be how can human beings, a product of nature, be so destructive to their own mother. A close examination, however, reveals the root behind the heinously destructive behavior that has so pitifully defined human history....   [tags: Dying American Culture 2014]

Powerful Essays
1200 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on American Culture

- America has been known to be a successful and free country. Through popular music, art, film and literature, we can discern that American identity is defined as being based on freedoms within the country, helping others and treating everyone as equals. One means of experiencing American culture is, the movie, The Blind Side, shows what it means to be an American by telling a story of helping others and treating everyone as equals. The movie is about a seventeen year old African-American boy, named Michael Ohr, who is homeless and has drifted in and out of the school system for years....   [tags: Culture ]

Powerful Essays
931 words (2.7 pages)

American Culture Essay

- Every Sunday in America, there are millions of people glued to the TV set rooting for their hometown football team. One gets pride from his or her hometown that ignites a fire inside everyone’s soul. Indeed, we are all Americans, but we are all different in little ways that help keep America a melting pot. Whether you are from the north, south, east, or west everyone is affected by his or her hometown in someway. My family originated in different parts of New England, and over the years, everyone has settled down in their own hometown all across the south....   [tags: Different Cultures in America]

Free Essays
795 words (2.3 pages)

Misunderstandings Essay

- Thus far this semester, we have learned of how language functions as a whole on society, but I’ll be doing something a little different. Let me start off with a question. Who here has gotten into a fight with their significant other or just a friend of the opposite sex over a misunderstanding, misinterpretation, or feel that they are just speaking another language and you don’t understand them. This so-called phenomenon is best described by the metaphor of ‘men are from mars and women are from venus’ and that’s why we speak different languages....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
744 words (2.1 pages)