One of the most interesting things in the current world is the cultural diversity that comes from one country to another. Every person is a unique source of cultural preferences and ideas. People cannot even understand how lucky they are to talk to each other and share their cultural preferences, traditions, and interests. The process of globalization makes it possible to diminish the national boundaries and tie people (Kalliny and Gentry 15).
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The current paper aims at analyzing the differences between Arabic and American cultures. This kind of work is not only the necessity to go deep into research and choose the most credible facts. It is a chance to understand what may differ and unite at the same time people from various parts of the world and to clear up how Arabic and American cultural backgrounds help to create two powerful nations. The main differences between Arabic and American cultures can be discussed in terms of the communication style, media, literature, and family relations.
It is not a secret that people’s cultural backgrounds affect the way they think, feel, behave, and understand each other (“Appreciating Cultural Diversity” par. 1). Though there are many means to learn better a new culture, people are not always ready or even eager to accept and respect some other’s interests. The differences between Arab and American cultures do exist. Still, all differences can make people believe that these two countries try to introduce as many cultural preferences as possible to become unique.
However, such intentions make them similar indeed. On the one hand, the Arabs and the Americans are spiritual, politically involved, and self-respectful. On the other hand, all these features develop various attitudes to the same things.
For example, Arabs and Americans have rather different communication styles. If an American can be direct and clear in his speech, and Arab remains to be ambiguous and indirect and tries to omit some specifics. The Americans want to use some facts to prove their points of view, consider their experience, and pay attention to their interests and demands. The Arabs find it necessary to be close so that no one can understand their true intentions. At the same time, it is easy to make some forecasts while talking to an Arab, and it turns out to be hard to imagine the outcomes of the conversation with an American.
The way of how the chosen societies develop their media varies considerably. Arab culture and media, in particular, depend on religion a lot. Islam is considered as a complete way of life (Kalliny and Gentry 15). Sometimes, it is hard to understand where the line between Arab culture and Islam is. The Arabs tried to underline the importance of their religion in media, specify the gender roles, and demonstrate their respect to the rules set by the government. It may be explained by the fact that the Arab media is rather young (Kalliny and Gentry 31).
On the contrary, the Americans pay much attention to their primary religion, Christianity but do not make it the ground for media and advertisement. The messages are usually explicit, and people try to follow and divide what they write and speak. Some researchers define American culture as “one of the most individualistic cultures” with “strongly values uniqueness and self-determination” (Kalliny and Gentry 18). The Arabs want to be connected with their thoughts, preferences, and passion for Islam, and the Americans, in their turn, want to be separated and individually respected.
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The cultural differences may be also observed in the literature offered by two countries. American literature varies, impresses with its controversies, and teaches how to follow some personal needs regarding the prejudice and expectations set by society. Arab literature introduces its people again as those dependent on their religious beliefs and the necessity to meet the expectations their society defines. It seems that in literature, the Americans want to share their ideas, provide choices, and make people free, and the Arabs try to underline their dependence on religion, teach people to follow the order, and never break the rules.
Several differences can be observed in terms of family relations and gender roles. It is impossible to omit the fact that the role of women in Arab families is limited. Women have to follow their husbands, agree with them, and never demonstrate their interests in public. In America, women know a little about their restrictions. The rights of men and women do not differ. Sometimes, women play more crucial roles in families: they have to work, bring up children, study, and never forget about self-respect that helps to survive. The way of how families are organized in American and the Arab countries is probably one of the major differences between the countries.
In general, American and Arab cultures can teach people how to consider personal needs and interests, how to be different but follow the same goal, and how to understand what is expected and what is wanted. The differences in media, communication, literature, and family relations are not the only ones that can describe American and Arab cultures, but they are the first ones that come to mind.
Appreciating Cultural Diversity n.d. Web.
Kalliny, Morris and Lance Gentry. “Cultural Values Reflected in Arab and American Television Advertising.” Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising 29.1 (2007): 15-32.