American Ways

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-04-14
  • Publisher: Consortium Book Sales & Distribution

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Whether you're a businessperson beginning to work in the United States or a foreign student visiting for a semester, this new edition of American Ways will help you navigate America's diverse and changing culture. From the deep-seated attitudes that mark the American character to customs and everyday activities, American Ways explores the tapestry of the country's life, providing invaluable information on cultural values, politics, education, religion, and relationships.

Author Biography

Gary Althen served for 30 years as a foreign student adviser at the University of Iowa, as well as director of the Office of International Students and Scholars. He has been president of NAFSA: Association of International Educators and received its Marita Houlihan Award for his contributions to the field of international educational exchange. He has lived and worked in Peru and Malaysia. Janet Bennett, PhD, is the executive director and cofounder of the Intercultural Communication Institute (ICI). She is the director of the ICI/University of the Pacific Master of Arts in Intercultural Relations, a nonresidential graduate program for professionals and other nontraditional students. Dr. Bennett also teaches training and organizational development as an adjunct faculty member of the Portland State University Department of Education.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Third Editionp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
Introductionp. xix
On Understandingp. xix
How Much Generalizing Is Acceptable?p. xxi
On Asking ˘Why?÷p. xxiv
How Americans See Themselvesp. xxvi
How Americans See Foreignersp. xxvii
On Describing Americansp. xxix
General Ideas About American Culturep. 1
American Values and Assumptionsp. 3
Individualism, Freedom, Competitiveness, and Privacyp. 5
Equalityp. 12
Informalityp. 14
The Future, Change, and Progressp. 15
Goodness of Humanityp. 17
Timep. 19
Achievement, Action, Work, and Materialismp. 21
Directness and Assertivenessp. 23
The Communicative Style of Americansp. 27
Preferred Discussion Topicsp. 28
Favorite Forms of Interactionp. 30
Depth of Involvement Soughtp. 33
Channels Preferredp. 35
Level of Meaning Emphasizedp. 43
Ways of Reasoningp. 45
The Contextp. 46
The Pointp. 48
The Organizationp. 49
The Evidencep. 50
The Causep. 53
Differences in Customsp. 55
Variations in Customsp. 57
U.S. Americans and Their Customsp. 57
Customary Behaviorsp. 59
Specific Aspects of American Lifep. 63
Politicsp. 65
The Rule of Lawp. 67
The Ideal of Compromisep. 68
Politics Apartp. 69
Fundamental Fault Lines in American Politicsp. 70
Suggestions for International Visitorsp. 73
Family Lifep. 75
What Foreigners Noticep. 75
The Changing Familyp. 77
Parentingp. 80
Suggestions for International Visitorsp. 86
Educationp. 89
Guiding Idealsp. 90
Social Forces Affecting American Educationp. 97
Issues Facing American Schoolsp. 100
Advantages and Disadvantagesp. 102
Suggestions for International Visitorsp. 103
Religionp. 105
The General Contextp. 106
Religion and Individual Americansp. 109
Exceptionsp. 111
Suggestions for International Visitorsp. 112
The Mediap. 115
What Is American About the American Media?p. 116
Americans' Views of Their Mediap. 119
Misconceptions the Media Promotep. 121
Suggestions for International Visitorsp. 123
Social Relationshipsp. 125
Meeting New Peoplep. 126
The American Concept of Friendshipp. 128
Relationships Prescribed by Rolesp. 131
Courtesy, Schedules, Giftsp. 134
Suggestions for International Visitorsp. 136
Racial and Ethnic Diversityp. 139
What International Visitors Seep. 140
How Americans View Race and Ethnic Relationsp. 145
Suggestions for International Visitorsp. 150
Male-Female Relationshipsp. 153
Influences on Male-Female Relationshipsp. 154
Male-Female Relationships in Various Settingsp. 158
Suggestions for International Visitorsp. 164
Sports and Recreationp. 165
Sportsp. 165
Recreationp. 168
Suggestions for International Visitorsp. 170
Drivingp. 171
General Informationp. 172
Traffic Lawsp. 173
Attitudes About Drivingp. 174
Suggestions for International Visitorsp. 177
Shoppingp. 179
Advertisingp. 180
Pricingp. 181
Customer-Clerk Relationshipsp. 182
Sales Tacticsp. 183
Procedures for Returning and Exchangingp. 184
Private Salesp. 185
Precautions for Shoppers from Abroadp. 186
Personal Hygienep. 189
The Basicsp. 190
Variationsp. 192
Other Issues Concerning Hygienep. 192
Suggestions for International Visitorsp. 193
Getting Things Done in Organizationsp. 195
Misconceptionsp. 196
Characteristics of U.S. Organizationsp. 198
Suggestions for Dealing with U.S. Organizationsp. 199
Behavior in Public Placesp. 203
Rules for Behavior in Public Placesp. 203
Communication Behaviorsp. 206
Suggestions for International Visitorsp. 207
Studyingp. 209
Assumptions Underlying the Higher Education Systemp. 209
Student-Student Relationshipsp. 211
Student-Professor Relationshipsp. 213
Roommate Relationshipsp. 214
Plagiarismp. 216
Suggestions for International Studentsp. 218
Businessp. 219
Doing Business in the United Statesp. 222
The Global Economyp. 229
Suggestions for International Businesspeoplep. 229
Healthcarep. 231
Cultural Underpinningsp. 232
Political Ramificationsp. 233
Suggestions for International Visitorsp. 235
Coping with Cultural Differencesp. 237
Some Helpful Ideasp. 239
Intercultural Competencep. 239
Expectationsp. 241
Personality Characteristicsp. 241
Traits and Situationsp. 242
Culture Shock and Stages of Adjustmentp. 244
D-I-Ep. 246
Activities for Learning About American Culturep. 249
Ask Questionsp. 249
Learn and Practice Local Englishp. 250
Take Field Tripsp. 252
Talk with Experienced Expatriatesp. 256
Keep a Journalp. 257
Learn the Names of Local and Institutional VIPsp. 258
Read, Reflectp. 259
View Yourself as a Teacherp. 260
Conclusionp. 261
References and Suggested Readingsp. 263
American Culturep. 263
Intercultural Relationsp. 265
Readings for Studentsp. 267
Readings for Business and Professional Peoplep. 267
English-as-a-Foreign-Language Textsp. 268
About the Authorsp. 269
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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