American Ways: A Guide for Foreigners in the United States / Edition 2

American Ways: A Guide for Foreigners in the United States / Edition 2

by Gary Althen, Gary T. Gardner
     
 

ISBN-10: 1877864994

ISBN-13: 9781877864995

Pub. Date: 10/28/2002

Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Traveling to America soon? If the thought of extended exposure among Americans seems daunting, let American Ways: A Guide for Foreigners in the United States help you prepare. In this revised edition, Gary Althen has added material to provide the clearest insights yet into the American psyche and culture, including the rewritten chapter Ways of Reasoning, which

Overview

Traveling to America soon? If the thought of extended exposure among Americans seems daunting, let American Ways: A Guide for Foreigners in the United States help you prepare. In this revised edition, Gary Althen has added material to provide the clearest insights yet into the American psyche and culture, including the rewritten chapter Ways of Reasoning, which provides one of the best-organized and clearest presentations of American thought processes to date, and a new chapter on race and ethnic relations that compares how foreign visitors and Americans alike perceive American subcultures. Within most chapters Althen has included a new section, Suggestions for Foreign Visitors, adding another practical dimension to the book. American Ways covers all the basic needs of the foreign student or businessperson, covering the trends and customs of day-to-day activities like driving, shopping and verbal and nonverbal communication as well as the more esoteric customs regarding cultural values, politics, education, religion and male-female relationships. As a comprehensive introduction to American culture, American Ways will prepare you for living, studying and working in America. It's that little tiny stuff that can affect how people get along....[T]here are lots and lots of different [cues] on an underlying, unspoken level.-Gary Althen Althen gives advice to foreign visitors to the U.S. that is intended to help them understand the motivations, attitudes, communication styles, and actions of Americans. Emphasizing the interpretation of observed behavior, he covers ways of reasoning and American ideas about politics, family life, education, religion, the media, social relationships, racial and ethnic diversity, male-female relationships, sports and recreation, driving, shopping, personal hygiene, and organizational and public behavior. Over-generalization is an understandable danger in such a work as this, but Althen does make an effort to emphasize that there are variations among Americans, while he concentrates on the similarities.-Book News ContentsPreface to the Second EditionAcknowledgmentsIntroductionPart I: General Ideas About American Culture1 American Values and Assumptions 2 The Communicative Style of Americans3 Ways of Reasoning4 Differences in CustomsPart II: Specific Aspects of American Life5 Politics6 Family Life7 Education8 Religion9 The Media10 Social Relationships11 Racial and Ethnic Diversity12 Male-Female Relationships13 Sports and Recreation14 Driving15 Shopping16 Personal Hygiene17 Getting Things Done18 Behavior in Public Places19 Studying20 BusinessPart III: Coping With Cultural Differences21 Some Helpful Ideas22 Activities for Learning About American CultureConclusionBibliographyAbout the Author

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781877864995
Publisher:
Nicholas Brealey Publishing
Publication date:
10/28/2002
Edition description:
2ND
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
5.59(w) x 8.61(h) x 0.76(d)

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Editionxi
Acknowledgmentsxvii
Introductionxix
On Understandingxx
How Much Generalizing Is Acceptable?xxii
On Asking "Why?"xxvi
How Americans See Themselvesxxvii
How Americans See Foreignersxxix
On Describing Americansxxxi
Part IGeneral Ideas about American Culture1
Chapter 1American Values and Assumptions3
Individualism, Freedom, Competitiveness, and Privacy5
Equality14
Informality16
The Future, Change, and Progress18
Goodness of Humanity19
Time22
Achievement, Action, Work, and Materialism24
Directness and Assertiveness27
Chapter 2The Communicative Style of Americans33
Preferred Discussion Topics34
Favorite Forms of Interaction37
Depth of Involvement Sought40
Channels Preferred42
Level of Meaning Emphasized53
Chapter 3Ways of Reasoning55
The Context56
The Point58
The Organization60
The Evidence61
The Cause65
Chapter 4Differences in Customs67
Part IISpecific Aspects of American Life75
Chapter 5Politics77
The Rule of Law80
The Ideal of Compromise81
Politics Apart82
Chapter 6Family Life85
What Foreigners Notice86
The Changing Family88
Raising Children90
Suggestions for Foreign Visitors98
Chapter 7Education101
Guiding Ideals102
Social Forces Affecting American Education110
Issues Facing American Schools113
Advantages and Disadvantages115
Suggestions for Foreign Visitors117
Chapter 8Religion119
The General Context120
Religion and Individual Americans124
Exceptions125
Suggestions for Foreign Visitors127
Chapter 9The Media129
What Is American about the American Media?130
Americans' Views of Their Media133
Misconceptions the Media Promote136
Suggestions for Foreign Visitors139
Chapter 10Social Relationships141
Meeting New People143
The American Concept of Friendship145
Relationships Prescribed by Roles148
Courtesy, Schedules, Gifts150
Suggestions for Foreign Visitors153
Chapter 11Racial and Ethnic Diversity155
What Foreign Visitors See156
How Americans View Race and Ethnic Relations162
Austin, Texas: A Case Study167
Suggestions for Foreign Visitors169
Chapter 12Male-Female Relationships173
Influences on Male-Female Relationships174
Male-Female Relationships in Various Settings179
Suggestions for Foreign Visitors186
Chapter 13Sports and Recreation187
Sports188
Recreation191
Suggestions for Foreign Visitors193
Chapter 14Driving195
General Information196
Traffic Laws197
Attitudes about Driving198
Suggestions for Foreign Visitors201
Chapter 15Shopping203
Advertising204
Pricing206
Customer-Clerk Relationships206
Sales Tactics208
Procedures for Returning and Exchanging209
Private Sales210
Precautions for Shoppers from Abroad210
Chapter 16Personal Hygiene213
The Basics214
Variations217
Other Issues Concerning Hygiene218
Suggestions for Foreign Visitors219
Chapter 17Getting Things Done in Organizations221
Misconceptions222
Characteristics of U.S. Organizations224
Suggestions for Dealing with U.S. Organizations226
Chapter 18Behavior in Public Places229
Rules for Behavior in Public Places229
Communication Behaviors232
Suggestions for Foreign Visitors234
Chapter 19Studying235
Assumptions Underlying the Higher Education System236
Student-Student Relationships237
Student-Professor Relationships239
Roommate Relationships241
Plagiarism244
Suggestions for Foreign Students245
Chapter 20Business247
Doing Business in the United States250
The Global Economy256
Suggestions for Foreign Businesspeople and Future Businesspeople257
Part IIICoping with Cultural Differences259
Chapter 21Some Helpful Ideas261
Expectations262
Personality Characteristics262
Traits and Situations264
Culture Shock and Stages of Adjustment265
D-I-E267
Chapter 22Activities for Learning about American Culture271
Ask Questions272
Learn and Practice Local English273
Take Field Trips274
Talk with Experienced Foreigners280
Keep a Journal281
Learn the Names of Local and Institutional VIPs281
Read, Reflect282
View Yourself as a Teacher284
Conclusion285
Bibliography289
About the Author295

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >