What is culture? Some experts say that it is what is at the core of an individual's behavior and his degree of assimilation into a particular environment. Others define it as what everybody knows what everybody else knows, within a group. It has also been described as the system of social institutions, traditions, values, and beliefs as well as that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, law, moral customs and values.
When we talk about values, we are not referring to absolute facts, but rather to traits that seem more obvious and openly recognized and practiced by the majority. One such value would be that, in general, Anglo Americans tend to consider their personal goals over group goals because they are generally goal- and future oriented, especially when it comes to monetary security. To prepare and save for the future is a common Anglo trait, as well as is the tendency to strive for material comfort. Another area in which the Anglo tendency toward being goal oriented is seen is in communication. When Anglos converse, it is usually oriented toward exchanging information in a quick and efficient manner. A direct question often leads to a direct response, often without a great deal of polite small talk. This may explain why Anglo American tourists are often viewed as pushy and rude in other countries. They simply don't want to "waste" time on small talk. As compared to other cultures, Anglo Americans are very direct in addressing their conversation partner, using that person's name often. They also tend to interrupt each other more often.
Another Anglo American characteristic which differs from many other cultures involves the raising of children. Strict discipline, which may include physical punishment, is considered acceptable.
Other typically Anglo American beliefs that the reader will probably recognize are: Man has power over nature, and nature itself has its laws - everything that happens can be scientifically explained. Also, being the first to climb the ladder of success is important and one must strive to be the best; hard work is rewarded, as well as adhering to a time schedule. Anglos are more likely to be competitive instead of cooperative, and, aggressiveness and ability are believed to be responsible for leading a person to great achievements, not fate or destiny.
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