Understanding American Worldview

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Understanding American Worldview
J. LaVelle Ingram, Ph.D.

The author J. LaVelle Ingram explains cross-cultural differences in the article “ Understanding American Worldview”. Ingram states that American worldviews have been identified by many sociologists and anthropologists. Ingram categorized the values of American worldview in five dimensions: 1) Time focuses on the future instead of the past 2) Having the ability to control nature 3) Human nature is inherently good 4) The individual’s wishes, needs and aspirations are more valuable than the groups and family’s. 5) The accomplishment of oneself is more important than the way s/he conducts her/himself. Ingram explains the first worldview of America by states that regarding time, people
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American view is optimistic, they think personal freedom is a core value as it suggests that the society as a whole will work better if you count on the individuals to live up to their best selves. Comparatively, in some culture would view human nature more pessimistically. In this case, they tend to be control people strictly and monitor closely to avoid negative impulses.

Taking care of oneself is also an important value of American. In American culture, parents will not interfere children’s decision of choosing their own major and it is common that a young woman move out, a young man gets a job and does not give money to their family. On the other hand, these behaviors will be considered disrespectful in many other cultures. Americans focus individual rather than the groups, parents prepared themselves well and children should take care themselves as
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I am not an American, as an international student and haven’t lived in the U.S. over one year, reading this article help me to understand American culture and difference between our country’s worldview and American worldview further more. The author also mentioned that immigrant does not have to decide to adopt American worldviews to live in America, however, it is simply a more effective living strategy to recognize the cultural differences and consciously negotiate them. Worldview will also change along the time, so it is important that to accept the different worldview of other’s, do not judge or criticize other people’s opinion, learn from each other and it will lead to be a harmony
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