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Forums > Social Discussion > stereotypes of americans...

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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:I'm mostly out to ask the people from England, Oz, and NZ, who supposedly speak the same language as us americans... heh.

Basically, I want to know what people's sterotypes of americans are. Obnoxious? Self-centered? Those are a few I've hit so far. But what things do you usually associate with them?


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Maelstrom


Maelstrom

member
Location: Akron, Ohio

Total posts: 135
Posted:Let the games begin! Personally, I think fire is better then glowsticks, anyday.

Nothing good ever comes from hanging out with normal people.

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Cantus
SILVER Member since Jul 2001

Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road

Total posts: 15965
Posted:Stereotypes?

Fat and stupid.FatstupidegocentricJingoisticinflated ideas of self importanceinflated idea of national importanceThat's all for now. I'll get back to you....

[ 12 April 2002, 11:57: Message edited by: C@ntus ]


"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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phunky


old hand
Location: Edmonton, AB

Total posts: 877
Posted:Loudmouthed

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Cantus
SILVER Member since Jul 2001

Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road

Total posts: 15965
Posted:You know Canadians speak english too?

"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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JohnSmith


member
Location: Canada

Total posts: 28
Posted:Warmongers

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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:canadians understand american english though. (usually)

no, i only lived like an hour from canada, drove through it a million times.... but i never thought they spoke english


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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phunky


old hand
Location: Edmonton, AB

Total posts: 877
Posted:Americans think Canadians live in igloo's.

[ 12 April 2002, 12:37: Message edited by: p h u n k y ]


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Cantus
SILVER Member since Jul 2001

Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road

Total posts: 15965
Posted:American postal workers are often found leaning out of windows on tall buildings with automatic weapons.....

"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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phunky


old hand
Location: Edmonton, AB

Total posts: 877
Posted:That happens everywhere cantus. If you ever delivered the mail you'd understand.

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glowshow


member
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA

Total posts: 406
Posted:Smart, impeccably dressed, good conversationalists, excellent hygiene, pleasant demeanor, incredibly outspoken, well behaved, tolerant, speak normally, thin and smart, thin, smart, peaceful, rock hard bodies, champions of world society, erm...humble...

good bullshitters...

Oh, take a frikkin' joke, already!

I can't believe that a few of us get such a bad rap for the actions of the other 257,348 of us...

Did that give anyone any inspiration? Oh, yeah! Almost forgot...good sense of humor.


FREE TIBET!!! (with the purchase of a 44 oz. drink)What do you want to be when you grow up?I want to be a kid again!I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.~~~J~~~

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bender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:What I expect from americans is changed now that i've met a few. They were warm, friendly, able to laugh about themselves and pronounce local names in really cute ways. My view is biased as the only Americans that i've met were chilled out os uni students out for a good time and a little study on the side. I'm sure that there are more from that continent-place. This thread is quite topical for me as I have recently made the 'aquaintance' of a really funky Texan for a recent rave - who proves again that Americans in the flesh don't always resemble Jerry Springer audience members

Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland

Total posts: 3989
Posted:I think the stereo-typing comes mostly from american TOURISTS, who have a high chance of being a certain way because they are on holiday, tend to have moeny to splash around and seem to be far too proud of their country, rather than their countries good points.

These are not be confused with american backpackers, who are less liekly to be like that, or american workers, who can be a combinations of both.

Everyone is different, but be aware of just what part of american (social not geographical) the current americans you have met are from.

As an example, I heard of two americans standing in a bar in Downtown Auckland, demanding to be served first because they were "AMERICAN CITIZENS"! If you had met very few americans in the past, then these two would defintely be the hardest to forget and would have a large part to play in your stereotyping.

Stereotypes come from the loud, highlyvisible people. There may have been another hundred americans in the bar, talking queitly, but we couldn't hear them and so didn't know that the two at the bar were the exception rather than the rule...

I like most americans I've actually MET and talked with, as opposed to those ive seen in a visible situation and not got to know them better.

my two cents...


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DocLiquid


member
Location: Naples, Florida

Total posts: 97
Posted:Well, I am an american so I suppose my ideas don't matter to this post, but honestly...they are fat, and they don't care about being fat. Which I find strange, yet my beerbelly seems to disagree with me; and they are very arrogant, not that I would know, cause I try not to associate with them. I feel that I am better than them. Heheh.

PLUR
DOC


Let us Light up the Night

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The Welcome Matt


member
Location: Manchester NH USA

Total posts: 193
Posted:Wishing I wasn't american right now but I do agree that a lot of people I find are really obnoxious. We really are a violent culture. We love it and thrive off of it. (not myself but I can def. see it as a whole) It frightens me sometimes just to watch the nes cause its all thats being reported. Its americans vs the world... and I seriously dislike that mentality. I learned today in one of my environmental classes that the US makes up only 5% of the world's population.. but we use close to 1/3 of the earth's resources. We are literally sucking away the opportunity for better life elsewhere in the world.

To set myself apart from people's stereotypes someday I want to move somewhere out of the states to a nice peaceful country where people are merely enjoying life as it comes and not taking for granted much of anything... Amsterdam comes to mind

When I was in France a couple of years ago.. I asked my host family the same question. They also said that they picture Americans as wearing cowboy hats.. torn jeans and always being incessently loud and hard to get a long with... its so sad that this is not hard to find within the boundries of the country


I dreamt that I ate a 10 pound marshmellow and then when I woke up, my pillow was gone!

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Stevil


member
Location: Melbourne, Victoria

Total posts: 18
Posted:My brain hurtz!

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Katinca


Katinca

See my vest.... see my vest...
Location: Adelaide - South Australia

Total posts: 693
Posted:In my very limited experience over there and the tourists I see here I have found the following:

*Fat
*Loud
*Patriotic to the core
*Like war - so long as the Good old USA of is winning.

But I have experienced the same as Charles, I have met some really great, down to earth, lovely, cheerful, great sense of humour Americans too. Pozee being one of them you too Myst after we settled a few of our differences.

[ 12 April 2002, 18:26: Message edited by: Katinca ]


Love and Light

~*~ Katinca ~*~

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phunky


old hand
Location: Edmonton, AB

Total posts: 877
Posted:My arch nemesis Myst lol

He's still lurking around isn't he?


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Cantus
SILVER Member since Jul 2001

Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road

Total posts: 15965
Posted:Does my 3 years working for the Royal Mail count Phunky?

I've only wanted to shoot Americans since I gave up smoking though......


"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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Cantus
SILVER Member since Jul 2001

Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road

Total posts: 15965
Posted:And you can pack that in n'all....

"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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SmokyDavy
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

Do my poi look too small in this?
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Total posts: 394
Posted:loud, obnoxious, self-absorbed, proud, nationalistic, no concept of the outside world, believe everything they see on television, culture is greatly dictated by the media, watch too much television.

I've met loads of cool americans though. Stereotypes do have a grain of truth, but I don't expect every american I meet to immitate sitcom actors and telling me how right they are.


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Dom
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK

Total posts: 3009
Posted:As I sit facing the London Eye, a major London landmark, we often play a little game called 'Spot the nationality. Some people make it too easy. If they're fat and wearing dodgy polyester clothes 10 years out of fashion, they're American

Can't think of anything to add to what's already here. Americans in the states do then to be really naive, espically when it comes to the rest of the world. They hardly give it any thought at all, and lump into masses and assume everyone lives in really small countries.

Yank: Gee, that's a nice accent. Are you foreign? (Once it was 'Are you from Florida?')
Me: Yes, surprisingly. I live in England.
Yank: Gee, that's cool! I have a cousin who lives in England. In (enter mispronouciation here). Do you know her?
Me: Why of course I do. In fact we were having tea together in the vicar's garden last week. Oh, and I live next to Buckingham Palace and was best friends with Princess Di
Yank: Gee! That's so cool!
Me: Excuse me, I have to urgently use the 'restroom' as a means of escape....

Or there's the famous American way of 'doing europe' in a week.

Yank: You're from England! My cousin went to Europe on Holiday!
Me: Where abouts?
Yank: All over. It sooo European!

From my experience of Americans those who've left the country to travel (package holidays don't really count) are more world aware than those inside, and hence have begun to think about things more and can compare the US to other places.

Within America New Yorkers and San Fran people seem more cosmopolitan (thats the word I was looking for, that's Smokey!) in their thinking in regards to having more varied influences in their lives. But go to places like Atlanta and Nevada and you really find the stereotypical Americans who are isolated in their own small world views.

Stereotypes exist about every country and social group, and often people change how they look to fit with a stereotype. As long as you don't immediately assume everyone is a stereotype then you're fine with me.

[ 13 April 2002, 02:22: Message edited by: Dom ]


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Cassandra


Cassandra

Froggie ... Ribbit !!!
Location: Back in Paris... for now !

Total posts: 4224
Posted:I think there is a little truth in every stereotypes and sometimes ... the truth is not about the country you have a stereotype about ... but about yourself. What I mean by that is sometimes what you see and pay atention in others is what seems important in your own culture and / or the issues you have with the culture you talk about ...

And when does a stereotype becomes a prejudice ? That is the fine line to not cross i guess.

I , as a French, was brought up in a fairly snobbish anti-american attitude. Thank god I got to travel and open up and discover that nothing's that simple...

I won't add much about the stereotypes but if Kyrian does not mind, I'd be very curious to extend the question about stereotypes in general.

That would be more fair since I know for sure that no country can avoid being stereotyped ...
so ...
what is the stereotype for
- French
- Brittish
- Canadian
- Australian
- Kiwis
and others ...


"I want brown bread... no, that is diesel oil..."
"So I was raised in Europe, where History comes from ..."
"NON !!! La Plume de mon oncle n est pas Bingibangibungi !!!"

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SmokyDavy
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

Do my poi look too small in this?
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Total posts: 394
Posted:My friend is living in france and was told by one girl that Canada,Australia and England are right next door to each other. The girl assumed that most english speaking countries are lumped together.

I think you'll find that people in major international hubs of the world are a little more knowledgeable of whats outside their country. I seriously doubt that the entire population of england could be said to be worldly.

As far as european attitudes in San Fran and New York, cosmopolitan can be defined as "composed of people from or at home in many parts of the world ; especially not provincial in attitudes or interests;"

Cosmopolitan cities like London, New York, San Fran, Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Cairo all have roots in one culture, but the population can consist of many different cultures.

And thats why I'm big city kinda guy.

The only ignorant thing that really bugs me about Americans is that too many of them actually believe and promote the idea that they live in 'the land of the free, home of the brave' while they can't spin fire without getting harassed, they can't smoke a spliff without being arrested, they can't DANCE with GLOWSTICKS in some cases.

Fighting for their 'freedom' by bombing someone on the other side of the world. (very brave)

I've been to a LOT of countries that are more free than the USA. I've been to a lot of countries that are more brave than the USA..

Also, I think the 'american dream' is a myth created hundreds of years ago to get people to emmigrate from europe. Perhaps it was true, but if you move to the US from a none english speaking country, you'll most likely end up mopping floors for the rest of your life in some high school.


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Hayduke


member
Location: Woodridge, IL, USA

Total posts: 11
Posted:Speaking as an American ( a slim, reasonably intelligent, peaceful one) I have found from my converstaions with friends overseas that the perception of the American people is not only formed by tourists, a very valid point as has been mentioned, but mostly by the policies of the gangsters in the White House and their criminal cabal, who have the highest profile; also by American corporate imperialism that attempts to ram American "culture" (read: brand name products) down the throats of other countries in order to perpetuate corporate greed.

This is not the real face of America. This country is a vastly diverse nation, but you cannot see that in McDonalds or on CNN. You get only the homogenized dreck spoonfed to you. The only way to really know what Americans are about is to travel here, talk to people, go different places, learn what people are thinking - and not the inbreds on Jerry Springer. We posess a rich variety of peoples, subcultures, ideas, and attitudes. It's often difficult to be exposed to those ideas and attitudes, because they are often not consistent with the philosophies of ExxonMobil, AOL/Time-Warner, and The Disney Corporation, et al.

I won't say that perception of Americans being fat, lazy, slow-witted, jingoistic, materialistic, etc, etc, ad infintium is inaccurate. There are far too many Americans who fit the stereotype perfectly (aren't all stereotypes based on a grain of truth?). The Lemmings. The Great Unwashed. Becky McSoccermom who only wants to get home from the mall in her SUV in time to see the latest drivel Fox is broadcasting. But that is not America.

Just some rambling thoughts.

Hayduke


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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Hayduke, thank you for saying what I was thinking about the stereotyping views being shaped by media and politics, which go hand in hand. I had a friend in OZ I spoke to once who believed that we were all like on Buffy the Vamp Slayer, minus the undead part. What I found ironic is that part of the stereotype is that Americans are too shaped and moulded by too much involvement in mass media (ie: watching tv too much, and believing it) and yet that is where many peoples views on Americans come from, the media. This seems to be hypocritical to me.

I am not a globe trotter, for one reason because I keep getting warned by friends that I will be made fun of or be treated with initial disdain because I am from the US. That makes me want to run right out and explore and add to the tourism that supports most countries let me tell you!
I am from extremely rural cow country USA, but neither myself nor my friends are as shallow or closed minded as people who do not travel or are not from social hubs like NYC and San Fran are judged to be.
And people from other countries do the same thing on the distance misconceptions. I say I am from New York State and it is automatically assumed either from the city or really close, as if the state is really small. The shortest route for me to get to NYC goes through two other states and takes 6 to 7 hours to drive, which is the same travel time as a plane trip to England from here!
There is a difference between those who haven't learned and those who have. Don't think travelling around in backpacker form is what makes the difference. Education and desire to learn and experience are where the difference lies. Some of the most intelligent, cultured people, never leave their town.

There are fat, stupid, lazy, obnoxious, arrogant people from all countries, races, religions... I have met several. I have also met some of the most glorious people I could ever hope to know from all over.

And let me point out, it is accused that Americans are overly patriotic, with ego-centric tendencies, however...how many times has it been said that your country is better than the US because you don't think that way? Or that because americans are "fat, lazy, stupid, watch too much tv, etc..." then you are better than US-ers?

Hello pot?
This is kettle.....you're black!

Oh, and technically, Canadians are Americans, as are people from the South American countries, the names of the continents are N. and S. America.

I should've never read this post.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Raymund Phule (Fireproof)


Raymund Phule (Fireproof)

Enter a "Title" here:
Location: San Diego California

Total posts: 2905
Posted:You Brits might be interested to know that I know how you are been there done that. No I wasnt on vaction or your "Holiday". I lived there for 3 years in a small little village called Yaksley (sp look I was 5 when I got there and 8 when I left gimme a break). The largest town next to it was Peterbourgh (once again SP). I remember how your kids treated me in the 80's but as you all know kids will be kids. I still have the scar on my hand from when some chick stabbed me with her pencile. Brittish hospitality! Americans do think highly of themselves but then again so does every other country. They may not be as boystrus as Americans but they do think highly of themselves. I attended the Cathlic scool there and when I came back to America I had an outstanding brittish accent, believe me my parents still have the tapes!!! Well I did have my friends and most of em were Brittish.

Naw you Brits are pretty cool, except for the kids who chased me around the playground and that chick who stabbed my hand.

So how this all ties in with American Sterotypes I dont know but you have my Tuppence worth! None the less I enjoyed England, Scotland got to be a pain, our van broke down on the way there! Camping on the north Irish sea was windy but and interesting time. We went to alot of castle and other sites, I even got to spend a week in York living as a Vikeing. That was really cool. I will not forget some of that stuff. England is a good place if you can stand the weather and in all honesty the people are nice (that I remember). I would recomend a trip there to anyone.

Now if anybody has any info on Russia I would love to know some. That is #1 on my trip list followed by Austrailia, sorry Austrailia but I know more people that have been Austrailia than Russia.


Some Jarhead last night: "this dumb a$$ thinks hes fireproof"

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SteelWngs
BRONZE Member since Aug 2001

SteelWngs

member
Location: Malden, Massachusetts United S...

Total posts: 169
Posted:Too Funny!!

Personally I live in Boston, MA. Now living in a college town we run into EVERYONE here. I have friends form almost every country on the planet here and I love all of them.

Here are a few things that I have found out through observance.
Everyone has a different name for that place that everyone goes to at a club to pee. ("The bathroom" even though their isn't one)
Doesn't matter where you are from DON'T walk around with a MAP and pretend that you really know where your going. You just look dumb.
If they do it differently in your country that is kewl. Just don't expect anyone to really care about the difference.
Clubbing is universal. People like to dance and yell and act stupid everywhere. We laugh at people who live here 100% of the time as well so don't take it personal.
Who cares what you wear when we go out for drinks. The only thing that I care about if we go out is who is picking up the check.
Let's be honest if you have never lived outside of your only country your opinion on another culture is just that your opinion.
If your going somewhere on "Vacation/ Holiday" make sure that you know what the currency value is.
When it comes to accents we think that it's kewl. I personally have seen Irish and English accented friends pick up women just because they didn't sound from here.
Oh, and people at an airport are just universally stupid.

Here are the things that I just have to say just because.
I do agree with the fact that most Americans are overweight, loud, arrogant, self righteous and very hypocritical.

Now in my opinion the USA does do a few things better than anyone else..
Movies
Microde - development of software and computer technology. Now I'm not talking manufacturing here. Just the creation of new tech.
Music

Discuss!


Blessings to all,
Peter
When you find yourself in the company of a halfling and an ill-tempered Dragon, remember, you do not have to outrun the Dragon ...you just have to outrun the halfling.

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Cazzar


member
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Total posts: 53
Posted:Well i've actually just come back from living in New Zealand..i've been over there for about 10 years and i have to say when i first got there they were really anti american and of course because i'm canadian and they don't realize that canada and america are actually Two different countries i got heaps of flack for my accent. but they were really rude at first because they thought i was american, and when i said i was canadian they thought i was just plain wierd...but as you live there longer people start to accept you. but they do have the whole stereotype of americans being fat and lazy, obnoxious and loud,etc etc, which in some cases may be true, but it's such a big generalization....all dogs pee on fire hydrants or something....

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Cazzar


member
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Total posts: 53
Posted:Well i've actually just come back from living in New Zealand..i've been over there for about 10 years and i have to say when i first got there they were really anti american and of course because i'm canadian and they don't realize that canada and america are actually Two different countries i got heaps of flack for my accent. but they were really rude at first because they thought i was american, and when i said i was canadian they thought i was just plain wierd...but as you live there longer people start to accept you. but they do have the whole stereotype of americans being fat and lazy, obnoxious and loud,etc etc, which in some cases may be true, but it's such a big generalization....all dogs pee on fire hydrants or something....

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Peregrine


member
Location: Mystic, Ct. USA

Total posts: 428
Posted:you forgot pizza....

Pere


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