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10 American Values

Posted in American Culture by Cristina on 24 Aug 2016

Those of you who want to study in the USA or live here should know something about American people and what they value. It might be very different from what you are used to. It might even come as a surprise to some of you. Americans have some core values and you should respect that. Here's a short list:

1.INDIVIDUALISM and SELF-RELIANCE There is a definite emphasis on the individual accomplishments and strengths. Americans rely on themselves and do not tend to ask for help a lot. Every person is special and unique and deserves to be respected. They also value personal privacy.

2.INDEPENDENCE This value is directly related to the previous one. Americans are encouraged to be independent at an early age. This way they can set their own goals in life. They are encouraged to not depend (too much) on others including their friends, teachers, and parents.

3.FREEDOM and LIBERTY Liberty is the value which proclaims that people should be able to think, speak, and act as they choose, as long as they do not offend the freedom and rights of others.

4.EQUALITY and EGALITARIANISM Americans want a society that ideally treats everyone equally. Most of them also want as little hierarchy as possible. Equality is the value that implies that all people must be treated fairly and with dignity and be able to embrace opportunities for education, economic success, political involvement, and a fulfilling life.

5.PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS Americans do not only work hard, but also play hard. They want to enjoy life at full, having a great leisure time and making sure they get what they deserve.

6.JUSTICE AND FAIRNESS All people in the world should live in peace and harmony with each other. We should all get fair treatment everywhere, no matter who we are and where we come from.

7.ACHIEVEMENT and SUCCESS People in the US are not only competitive with others, but they also compete with themselves. They feel great when they "beat their own record" and become more successful at something they do. Doing nothing seems like a waste of time, so they strive to achieve more, to be better, faster, etc.

8.ACCEPTANCE and RESPECT for others We should all respect other people, no matter what their race, heritage, culture, language, religion, nationality, or social class is.

9.SECURITY Americans care not only about their personal security as individuals, but also about the security of the nation in general. People in the USA want to feel safe and secure in the face of internal and external threats.

10.PATRIOTISM Americans feel good when they see the American flag or hear the anthem. Patriotic symbols are everywhere and people are more than proud of them and their country. You can hear people criticizing the government or the country itself, but it stems from their love and desire of improvements.