Saturday, April 5, 2014

American Lifestyle I

Hello everyone! Please post your reflection on American Lifestyle (time, communication, and status and hierarchy). You can answer the following questions to get started:
What did you learn? What was interesting and shocking?


  1. Hello professor:
    For me the most interesting part of American life style was the culture monochromic and culture polychromic because in monochromic cultures people tend to place a high value on timeliness and schedules and they generally prefer to do one thing at a time and to devote their full concentration to the task at hand, while in polychromic cultures people tend to focus more on what they are doing than the timeframe in which it is happening, They tend to build strong personal relationships, and often see the development of this relationship as their end goal rather than the task at hand. I thought that the difference between these types of culture is that the attendant differences in how time and relationships are valued are crucial to being able to communicate effectively across cultures.
    In addition American people tend to be moralistic; they are inclined to see all issues as plain and simple, black and white, issues of morality at the respect of time most Americans are very punctual.
    That´s all

  2. Hello

    This week we learnt about Bolivian and American perspective, polychronic cultures, monochronic cultures, written and oral communication. In the American perspective time is very important. Schedules for American people are meant to be planned and then followed in the smallest detail, and also I would like to add that American´s language is filled with references to time, giving a clear indication of how much it is valued. Time is something to be on to be kept filled saved spent wasted and gained. Another thing that is important for Americans is change that is seen as indisputably good condition, change is strongly linked to development, improvement, progress, and growth. This is interesting because this is linked with hard work because Americans are hardworking people and it is very important that we love our country and we are ready to work for our country.
    In Bolivian perspective sometimes many people sometimes do not care about time, they do not have schedules to do all the things they have during the day and talking about technology there are no much work, also we talked about polychronic culture. In this culture people can do things at the same time, there is no a sequence. Latin American countries and Arabic countries are polychromic. Monochronic culture people do things step by step, they have to finish one activity to start another, countries that are monochromic are the USA and European countries.
    In oral communication, American people express their opinion through the turn taking, and when they are in a meeting or in any situation they like to ask questions, this is really important for them besides, body language like eye contact is essential when they are talking with somebody. In Bolivian context when we are in the same situation we don’t like to ask many questions, and this is a disadvantage for us when we are learning something.
    Finally, we talked about American lifestyle, after the Independence Declaration in 1776 all people have an equal treatment regardless race, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and family background, this is also important because if we want growth and change in Bolivia, equal treatment and respect to each other is a good way to get that.

  3. Hello
    The unit-2 about American Lifestyle was very interesting because I could learn more about American culture and some differences with our culture, for example, in the Bolivian and American perspectives related to the time we mentioned some points between these countries, and the point more interesting for me was the punctuality because I learned that be on time for americans is crucial and shows respect, I didn't know this, also for they follow the rules or points step by step is important. Other difference with amerivan culture and our culture is the communication, we saw the difference between a formal letter in spanish and a formal letter in english, for we the greetings and closings are important and longish and we are redundant, but for americans the greetings and closings are very simple and a little bit short they go to the point. In addition, learned that in a conversation the americans wait for say something and the eye contact is important for they because it shows that the other person is very interesting in the conversation and it shows respect, but in our culture we express our ideas and opinions almost at the same time. That's all professor and thanks for teach us more about american culture.

  4. Hello Professor:

    For me, It was one of the most interesting themes that we have reached up to now. American lifestyle is deffinetly different to Bolivian lifestyle.
    What called my attention the most about American and Bolivian lifestyle were the communication and Status and Hierarchy part:
    Communication: The fact that, in writting letters, american people don't "spend" effort to like reciever with too much greetings and closings, they focus their attention to express the main idea. Other point was the importance of the words that represent something essential for the culture, for example the 1550 different ways to call a potatoe in Bolivia. Other point was the turn-taking way to speak of American people, in my personal opinion that would be the best way to communicate each other, but in Bolivia and other societies people tend to interrupt when talking. Personally, If sometime I go to the USA that turn-taking way to speak will cost me the most to get use to, because, sincerely, I'm a soccer player when intercating with someone.
    The next points were very interesting too: "there are no wrong questions for American people" and "American people can say NO". I think that definitely these are cultural concerns, because American people feel freedom to ask everything they need to know and to say "no" without feeling guilty if they are not able to do something. And Bolivian people have problems to express like that, that attitude is an example of education that we have recieved for generations,so it has to do with culture.
    Getting to the most shocking for me: Status and Hierarchy. "All people are created equal", it's a cultural issue because of the history that this statement implies. Nowadays it's true that in Bolivia hierarchy is bounded to respect,but not in American lifestyle and that is shoking, how they interact each other regardless race, age, gender,etc. It's a big step and very admirable.
    So getting to a conclussion I could infer that every day we live the culture; we act the culture, we speak the culture, we perform the culture. What do I want to say with this? Well, I have observed a little more the Bolivian lifestyle since Wednesday and even thought people don't realize that they are performing a Bolivian culture in everything they do, it's like if they are telling a history; just in the way they express themselves.
    Finally I'm able to say that I enjoyed a lot about this topic and I hope to learn more about american culture.

  5. Hello Professor.
    About the topic: “American lifestyle”. I think this is the most interesting theme we´ve discussed so far. Well in my opinion American Lifestyle is totally different from our culture here in Bolivia. Something that called my attention was how they communicate, interact, the status, and the hierarchy.
    COMUNICATION: for Americans, in conversations, you should give continuous feedback to the other person, or at least nod continuously. In absence of that, the other person might think you aren´t really interested or you´re confused. American counter parts who rely on visual cues such as eye contact and posture. Talking about written communication, they generally go to the point and avoid the repetition of greetings or closing.
    Well, it could be that for Americans there are no wrong questions, as well as for them, the possibility to say “NO” is totally valid in any context. This is different from our country, because here in Bolivia we do concern about saying “NO” to someone, that`s how we have been taught. That’s our culture. Talking about the time punctuality, how most Americans are very punctual. Most people arrive exactly on time or a few minutes early for an appointment. If there is an unexpected delay, it is customary to inform the other person by calling him about the delay and apologize immediately upon meeting.
    The status, people say: “We are different because our government and our way of life are not based on the divine right of kings, the hereditary privileges of elites, or the enforcement of deference to dictators”. That´s why they are different and show a good example of: “everyone is equal form the moment of birth”. Something that nowadays we don´t consider this at all. But in American culture they do respect the rights, how they interact among them regardless of race, gender, status, etc. this is something we could learn from.
    Well, in conclusion I would say that American Lifestyle are friendly talkative, and also it is generally considered courteous to open the door for others nearby to let them pass through first, more for ladies like ; THANK YOU!– and YOU ARE WELCOME! Finally I think this culture is wide different from ours, so I´d like to live there some day.

  6. Hello Professor.
    the most important in the topic: "American Lifestyle". it was the dichotomy among American perpective versus Bolivian perspective
    What did I learn?
    I learnt about the Monochronic cultures like to do just one thing at a time. For example: USA, European country while Polychronic cultures like to do multiple things at the same time. For example: Latin America, Africa and Arabic countries. Besides the communication among both culturces is very complex and it is an important factor why none of both will be able to make an agreement especially of business.
    What was interesting for me?
    The most interesting for me was the time perception in USA culture where American people have intervals of five minutes in their minds. Thus American people just accept when somebody arrives late after five minutes an appointment but if somebody arrives after ten minutes, it will be considered a discourtesy person. While the time perception in Bolivia culture, the time is divided in intervals of thirty minutes in the minds of Bolivian people. In other words, when somebody says to another person: “Ten o’ clock in San Francisco Church”. The person will arrive thirty minutes after the agreed hour. This situation is very common in Bolivia country.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Carlos! This is the first time you post on our blog. Keep posting!

  7. Hi professor, I am Mois├Ęs
    The topic was interesting, well I think that know more about other countries is useful also increase our knowledge in this topic the American life show us how the American citizen is more focus in the future, in the new technologies, the American citizen always take advantage of the time and they do not waste the time, like a classmate said in class, a phrase used by the American is “the time is money”. We can say that American life is tidy and they prefer make the things step by step, they prefer use a schedule to make their activities in order.
    I learned that the American life is a monochromic culture, in addition in the American life is important the laws y rights and those laws and rights is equal for each one in the country then the communication is more open and is like a game of tennis it take turns is interesting the comparison, it is not a mix where everybody try to speak,
    The interesting of this topic was how in the American life the citizen is tidy and take advantage of the time also, the way how the people work hard to have a success life, it show us that if we hard work and we do not waste the time, we will have success life, this life style encourage to many people to think in the “the American dreams”is possible, any objectives or goal that we could have it is going to be true if we work hard.
    All the points of the topic were interesting also we can know more about the American life for example their culture, lifestyle through magazines, books, music or movies, in my case I learned a lot of American life through of movies for instance how the American people prefer eat pizza on weekend or go to watch movies with friends, join a picnic with the family also have a family meeting each Christmas to share experience, in summary is fascinating to know more about other culture.

  8. hello professor :
    well according to the topic american lifestyle have a big different between american culture and bolivian culture about the culture .The American and bolivian cultures have very differentiation between them..While the culture of America is a mixture of different cultures, the bolivian culture is unique and has its own values.
    One of the major differences that can be seen between American and bolivian culture is in family relations. While the Indians are very much family oriented, the Americans are individual oriented. In bolivian culture, the family values are given more prominence than the individual values. Bolivians respect family values. On the other hand, in American culture the individual values gets prominence than the family values. Bolivian are more committed to their family where as the Americans are more committed to themselves only.
    In another sense, it can be said that the American culture is more goal oriented and the bolivian culture is more people or family oriented.

  9. Hi profesor,
    Firstly, I had some personal problems and I could not be in your class last Monday, but I found out and I figured out that the differences between pespectives of time (Monochronic - Polychronic) are obstacles in the process of comunication, for example who has Polychronic perspective does multiple things at the same time also does interruptions into a conversation such as answering the cellphone in a seminar, this is a difficulty to other person who has a Monochronic perspectives who has a tendency to follow rules of privacy and order this person cannot understand why the people do interruptions and s/he sees that ones like affronts.
    If you live in the United States, Canada, or Northern Europe, you live in a monochronic culture. If you live in Latin America, the Arab part of the Middle East, or sub-Sahara Africa, you live in a polychronic culture. Therefore we live in a polychromic culture.
    Also I found that theses differences or perspectives could be realized by the geographical, or climatological influences and this cause time perceptions for example to us a moment is a quarter of an hour meanwhile to American people a moment is only 5 minutes.
    Finally, something interesting for me was that the American people are very impatient. Because of the stress of time and constant lack thereof, Americans have great urgency to do things before it is too late. As a result, people tend to become stressed, nervous, and angry if they are running late for an appointment or being behind a certain deadline, so this is the reason why the most American people are stressed and we are contrary to them.

  10. Hello Profesor.
    This is my opinion about high and low context.

    Here is another concept that will help as pull together a lot of the material we have read so far about culture in the class. It is called "high context" and "low context" and was created by the same anthropologist who developed the concepts of polychronic and monochronic time. They complement each other and provide a broad framework for looking at culture.
    The list below shows the kind of behavior that is generally found in high and low context cultures within five categories: how people relate to each other, how they communicate with each other, how they treat space, how they treat time, and how they learn. One thing to remember is that few cultures, and the people in them, are totally at one end of the spectrum or the other. They usually fall somewhere in between and may have a combination of high and low context characteristics.

    1. Claudia,
      It´s better if you use your own words to explain this. That will help you really understand the concept and practice your English.

  11. Hi Prossesor
    American Lifestyle
    American people focuses more on the future, and it noticiable that they are work all the time wthat it seems that all the time are in a hurry. so the phrase "time is money" fits perfect on them. and there is a proverb that I would like to mention "Time and Tide wait for no man" so this is true because there are oportunities where you can not let it go if so bad news then. COMMUNICATION, comparing Bolivian and American ways to write a formal letter it is different Bolivian people greet to much, then closing is to long, on the other hand American people go to the point and say what is needed.
    ORAL COMMUNICATION Americans take turns but French and Bolivian people expres their opinion at the same time.
    QUESTIONS here in our classes it is quite different to ask questions , maybe the reason is because we feel fear and not self confident to expres our opinion, but for American is the oposite, they ask too many questions. "NO" Bolivian people do not dare to say this word because we may disappoint the other person. EQUAL TREATMENT American practice it years ago a person who is poor lets say has the same treat as any other professional , but in Bolivia it does not happen because there is social differences.
    What was shoking for me?
    There are clear differences but I think that there is a process in which Bolivia is working on it. But something to mention, trying to have a nice conversation without arguing, is taking turn so in thar way we can undestand each other and there can not be misunderstanding.

  12. I relly feel sorry to send it to you at this time, i realy want to apologise for it