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"All of this wouldn't bother me so much if it weren't for the fact that I see these kinds of generalizations all the time. It's not uncommon for Americans who've briefly visited one or two countries in Europe to say, "In Europe they..." or "Europeans are...". This makes me cringe every time, because it is the equivalent of a European person visiting a city in Mexico and going, "In North America they..." or "North Americans are..." solely based on their experiences in that Mexican city."

A better analogy is the way Europeans come to America, visit New York City and L.A., and think they know everything about the nation as a whole, as if the U.S. is a homogenous culture, rather than a conglomerate of roughly 10 or 11 different cultures. The worst part is that the majority of Europeans (yep, I'm generalizing) I encounter seem to think that the massively exported American pop culture is representative of U.S. culture, when it is absolutely not. I grew up in rural Appalachia (West Virginia, western Virginia) and the culture for both business and informal activities is vastly different than that of the Deep South, West Coast, Mid Atlantic, etc.

See this book: http://www.amazon.com/American-Nations-History-Regional-Cult...




as if the U.S. is a homogenous culture

Compared to Europe, it certainly is.

From a merely linguistic viewpoint, in North America there's English and Spanish (Ok, and native american languages, but they're really not much spoken). In Western and Northern Europe, there's French, Italian, Dutch, German, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Finnish.

The thing is, identity is a matter of contrast.

See this : http://squid314.livejournal.com/306048.html


Not to mention the hundreds of local accents, sub-languages and even manners of speech and expression. Of course, that's also applicable to the US on a somewhat larger scale.


Did you forget that 7 million people speak French in Qu├ębec? And because a language is not much spoken, it doesn't count?


Oh, right. It doesn't change the fact that the US is very culturally homogenous.

because a language is not much spoken, it doesn't count?

A langage that isn't much spoken is one you're much less likely to encounter.

I neglected them because they're numerically negligible, and because if I had cited all native languages in the United State, I should then, too, have procedeed to cite all minority languages from Western Europe, which are more widely spoken.

There are, for instance, 13 million native speakers of Bavarian. By comparison, there's less than 3 millions native americans in the United States.

I could have been more pedantic, but for brevity's sake, I decided not to go too much into details.

My point stands.


If I'm reading you correctly, Quebec wouldn't apply, because Quebec is in Canada, not the United States.


By describing the cultural differences within the US as "vastly different", you are basically just confirming the idea of Americans not understanding the depth of cultural diversity in Europe.

I'm very well aware of the significant differences between the Deep South and the West Coast etc, but those differences pale in comparison to the vast centuries old cultural differences you can find in Europe even between towns only a few dozen miles apart. Hell, the differences inside the US barely compare to regional differences within small European countries.

This is not a matter of ignorance. Even in well educated and well traveled Americans seem to be unable to really comprehend the depth of cultural differences outside the US.


To support the "cultural differences you can find in Europe even between towns only a few dozen miles apart"... Words, languages and even food can be different going from one village to the next here in Spain.




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