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American and European Social Broad Mindedness Research Paper


Culture can be regarded as a factor that influences thinking (Harms n. p). Culture comprises of attitudes, belief patterns, as well as, interactions that a group share, for instance, language, values, practices, and ways of communication. Americans, due to their culture, can be said to be lacking social broadmindedness, unlike the Europeans. This may be attributed to the fact that the American culture embraces individualism (Fischer. 1).

Individualistic people and cultures are apt to place the concerns of people over the concerns of their individual collectivities, such as the nation and neighborhood (Fischer 3). Because of individualism, Americans can not be interested in learning other people’s language, unlike the Europeans. This implies that American people are far more ignorant to the topic of social broad-mindedness than Europeans.

Also, compared to the average European individual, American people are less apt to think outside the box of their national borders, in regards to social tolerance, and this forms the thesis. The paper shall first explain reasons as to why the Americans lack social broad mindedness.

The paper shall then demonstrate the differences between the perceptions held by the two countries, followed by an opposing claim. Finally, the paper will end with a brief conclusion.

Why the Americans Lack Social Broad Mindedness

Americans usually lack social broad mindedness, due to their individualistic culture. Americans hardly support a well-built safety net, like the European countries, as they are extremely individualistic. Children, in America, get encouraged to build their sense of responsibility, individual identity and accomplishment from their tender ages.

A key appearance of individualism in America is how Americans get opposed to identifying with their national culture (Bennett 3). Although, the entire world identifies them as Americans, most Americans still claim that they are a blend of cultures, or just individuals.

This is one way in which Americans isolate themselves from their own country and the entire world, since no other country in the world rejects their cultural link. America isolates itself from several other common practices, as discussed earlier on, which makes it lack intercultural sensitivity.

Moreover, Americans encounter difficulties in understanding other people’s viewpoints, since they are part of a society that promotes individualism (Harms n. p). A chief effect of Americans’ difficulty in understanding things from another individual’s standpoint, according to Boaz, is weak communication (Harms n. p).

Also, American lack of social broad mindedness is manifest in its American English language, as it has just a single method of counting, while European countries have various counting schemes, some of which refer to the shapes of objects (Bennett 3). The general knowledge of objects is normally affluent in cultures where language provides meaning to slight variations in shape.

The media, in America, focus on local and thrilling items, as opposed to things like political transformations or famines, in other countries (Bennett 3). In other words, American programs seek to reveal the American viewpoint of each account. This leaves a void in Americans, as they lack exposure to events taking place in other parts of the world.

Also, American systems of education become filled with programs that are non-academic. Such programs ignore disciplines like world history and languages. This leaves the American learners limited to some extremely vital information, regarding other countries.

Differences, in Perceptions, of Americans and Europeans

Through an examination of the differences between perceptions, held by the two countries, we can demonstrate the ignorance and intolerance of the American people to the rest of the world. The following are the differences.

Whereas Europe and most states employ the metric system, which includes Celsius and grams, Americans utilize the aged English Imperial method of measure which includes miles, feet and pounds. From this point, it is clear that Americans usually ignore what happens in other countries.

The perception of time and space by the Americans and Europeans is another area of divergence. For instance, Americans will refer to a building that is just 200 years old as an ancient structure. May be, this could be attributed to the fact that America is not extremely old. In Europe, on the other hand, only a building that is more than 2, 000 years can be considered as an ancient structure.

However, distance appears to be the reverse. Whereas Europeans may think that 100 kilometers is a long distance, Americans will consider this as a short distance. This is perhaps because Europe is smaller than America and has a larger population than America.

Indeed, Europe is half the size of America. Nevertheless, Americans do not do much travelling like the Europeans. The Europeans travel both within their own nation and, also, to new states. This may be attributed to the fact that Europe is close to other states, as opposed to the remoteness of America from other states.

The perception of Americans and Europeans towards education exhibits disparities in cultural ideas. In Europe, many schools and colleges get funded by the state. Children, who attend schools and colleges, do not seem privileged.

On the other hand, parents, in America save funds for their children’s schools fees for several years and even take loans to fund their children’s college education. Children, who attend schools and colleges, become regarded as privileged, in America. This is because of the individualistic nature of the Americans. They believe that everyone is responsible for his/her burden.

Most Americans believe in using military force to uphold order in the globe. Conversely, only a small proportion of Europeans consider the use of military in upholding peace. Again, Europeans countries, with the exception of French, are apt to give aid to other nations, unlike the Americans.

Every person, in America, has the same language and nationality. The Americans get only divided by ethnic groups and religion. Conversely, the Europeans relate strongly with their ethnicity, culture, places of birth and language.

Europeans lay their prime stress on languages and culture, thus creating different groups of communities. While people may make fun of a person’s religion in Europe, making fun out of a person’s culture is a taboo. Conversely, Americans do not make fun out of their religions.

European nations are more apt to have a tolerant viewpoint, in regards to contentious political issues, than Americans. For instance, Europeans tolerate soft drugs, alcohol and abortion. On the other hand, America highly debates and regulates such issues. Nevertheless, Americans have greater liberty regarding the tenure of fire arms, as compared to Europeans.

Disparities in food are evident among the two nations. European states apt to be more cultural in their foods than Americans. They eat little, and their foods are more balanced than those of the Americans.

The Europeans and Americans, also, differ in religion. Attending church summons and worshiping God, in America, is a custom (Fischer 8). Most Americans consider the church as a social occasion.

Hence, even American politicians frequently refer to the Bible and God. Conversely, most Europeans do not belief in God, and they fail to attend church. Since, there is a distinct separation between politics and religions, politicians, in Europe do not talk about religion.

People, in Europe, are unprompted and less apt to pursue any standard as compared to America. Things, in America, are much more precise and apparent, with conventions that govern political and cultural concerns. Although, Europeans, occasionally, desire Americans for their unified perceptions, they do take pleasure in the liberty to do things as they like, without being conventional or formulaic.

The two countries, also, vary in political ideas. Americans participate more in the political arena than the Europeans. In America, voting is apt to be more of an occasion as compared to the majority of European states. Europeans are careful in selecting their political agendas, although, they become violent when hosting demonstrations.

Opposition to the Claim discussed

Much argument surrounding the growth of intercultural sensitivity, in America, regards ethics. A number of people interpret “intercultural sensitivity” to mean renouncing some moral rules or ethical standards. However, Perry Scheme of Cognitive and Ethical Development portrays a process in which people cultivate ethical thinking and manners as they discover other things about the world (Bennett 18).

Perry’s model explains the transition from one comprehensible manner of thinking to several ambiguous and similarly deferential manners of thinking and, finally, to “a situation whereby actions become weighed against contexts, and individuals opt the context wherein they will act (Bennett 18). Thus, it is possible to learn about different parts of the world, without renouncing any moral rules or ethical standards.

In conclusion, differences between the perceptions held by America and Europe confirm that culture affects the thinking process. While the Americans become only divided by ethnic groups and religion, the Europeans relate strongly with their ethnicity, culture, places of birth and language. Europeans lay their prime stress on languages and culture, thus creating different groups of communities.

European nations are apt to have a tolerant viewpoint, in regards to contentious political issues, while America highly debates and regulates such issues.

Whereas Europe and most states employ the metric system, which includes Celsius and grams, Americans utilize the aged English Imperial method of measure which includes miles, feet and pounds. From this point, it is clear that Americans usually ignore what happens in other countries.

Americans hardly support a well-built safety net, like the European countries, as they are extremely individualistic. Children, in America, get encouraged to build their sense of responsibility, individual identity and accomplishment from their tender ages. A key appearance of individualism in America is how Americans oppose identifying with their national culture.

Moreover, Americans encounter difficulties in understanding other people’s viewpoints, since they are part of a culture that promotes individualism. Also, American lack of social broad mindedness is manifest in its American English language, as it has just a single method of counting, while European countries have various counting schemes, some of which refer to the shapes of objects.

American programs seek to reveal the American viewpoint of each account. This leaves a void in Americans, as they lack exposure to events taking place in other parts of the world. Also, American systems of education become filled with programs that are non-academic.

Such programs ignore disciplines like world history and languages. This leaves the American learners limited to some extremely vital information, regarding other countries. Hence, the study confirms the thesis of the study, as Europeans practices appear to cover a broader social area than the individualistic perceptions of the Americans.

Works Cited

Bennett, Milton. Intercultural Communication: A current Perspective. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press, 1998. Web.

Fischer, Claude. Just How Is It that Americans are Individualistic? Berkeley: University of California. Web.

Harms, Williams. “.” The University of Chicago Chronicle 19.26(2007): n.pag. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2019, December 19). American and European Social Broad Mindedness. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-and-european-social-broad-mindedness-research-paper/

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"American and European Social Broad Mindedness." IvyPanda, 19 Dec. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/american-and-european-social-broad-mindedness-research-paper/.

1. IvyPanda. "American and European Social Broad Mindedness." December 19, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-and-european-social-broad-mindedness-research-paper/.


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IvyPanda. "American and European Social Broad Mindedness." December 19, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-and-european-social-broad-mindedness-research-paper/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "American and European Social Broad Mindedness." December 19, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-and-european-social-broad-mindedness-research-paper/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'American and European Social Broad Mindedness'. 19 December.

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