The Book, Distant Mirrors: America As A Foreign Culture, Is

947 words - 4 pages

The book, Distant Mirrors: America as a Foreign Culture, is a compilation of articles written by anthropologists, sociologists and professors. It was edited by Phillip R. DeVita and James D. Armstrong. This is the third edition of the Distant Mirrors books. In the introduction to the book it is said that Americans like things bigger and better and that is why they feel the need to keep making new editions. The main focus of this book is looking at the American culture from a different prospective. It is very difficult to be objective about your own culture. You are brought up in your culture so it is very easy to overlook some of the details. The routine you follow during the day may seem perfectly normal to you but odd and unexplainable to an outsider. In the article, Professor Widjojo Goes to a Koktel Parti, it describes what an American cocktail party may seem like to someone who has never been or heard of one. He almost makes the cocktail party seem like the worst idea ever. "Social status is indicated by the number of partis that a couple is invited to attend - and, of course, wealth, since the woman cannot wear the same dress and hat to more then one parti. People complain bitterly at the number they have to go to-" (Labarre 32). This has to deal with how we, as Americans, are socialized. We are brought up in a society that puts high standards on being wealthy and being happy. If you are attending these cocktail parties then supposedly you fall under both of these categories. This may not be the reality but people are responding to their perceptions of reality. Which they learn through interaction, in a way, conforming to what others think reality is. A reoccurring theme in this book seems to be what that American culture lacks compared to other countries cultures. One thing mentioned was that our cities are not as "city-like" as other cities in the world. "Not only are there no sidewalks, there are no squares where people can safely gather, meet people, talk, or buy flowers. There are no coffee shops like in Vienna, Rome, or Budapest" (Mucha 38). Also, our urban life lacks face-to-face contact; people don't know their neighbors and sometimes hardly acknowledge them when they walk down the street. And with the more technology advances it has made it easier to achieve a sense of anonymity. Another thing that differs with the American culture is how we raise and treat our children. In other countries children are not to speak unless spoken to, they must refer to the elders in the proper, polite way by always...

Find Another Essay On The book, Distant Mirrors: America as a Foreign Culture, is

A satire on the usefullness of mirrors in society

517 words - 2 pages Everyday we overlook this item, as we look it over. Everyday we ignore the attractiveness of this object as we inspect the level of our own. No matter the circumstance, chances are you will utilize the features of this under appreciated object before you even leave the comforts of your own home each morning. It has both fueled the most pompous of people and been a deterrent to the most modest, but the mirror is something that undeniably plays an

Is there such a Thing as Über-Culture Clash?

1316 words - 6 pages Compared to our neighbours out in the Far East, our culture does not rely as much on respect and ancestral worship, and this is where we find Japanese culture strange and how our culture does not compare. A big example of this being a matter of respect and honor- a large part of Japanese culture that plays a part in their everyday life and to us Americans seemingly strange and unnecessary. It isn’t that we don’t have a concept of what honor and

Culture Wars? The Myth of a Polarized America

2488 words - 10 pages A Not So 50:50 Nation Culture Wars? The Myth of a Polarized America: Book Review Susana Romo D. Bozonelos Political Science 102 May 11, 2014   The book Culture Wars? The Myth of a Polarized America by Morris P. Fiorina, Samuel J. Abrams, and Jeremy C. Pope is a persuasive text regarding America and its division on political topics. In chapter one, Fiorina begins with a powerful quote from Pat Buchanan’s 1992 speech at the Republican

Acting as the World's Police Force is Bankrupting America

3152 words - 13 pages has been doing more than just protecting its own borders, it has been taking a more international role and has become a World Police (Gottlieb). Many argue that it is neither America’s responsibility nor is it right for America to dictate what goes on in other countries. Recently CNN had conducted a Research Poll on the American People asking the question “As a general rule, do you think the United States should be ready and willing to use

Review and analysis of the poem "America" by Allen Ginsberg - written as a lecture, but is in essay format

585 words - 2 pages , Allen Ginsberg appears quite overly infantile and immature in his response to America's actions, as if he isn't a part of them. He speaks as if America is his parent- or a separate entity to himself, and is satisfied winging to it. He acknowledges the large and international issues present, for example the atom bomb threats and "human war", but refuses to budge from a narcassistic viewpoint, talking of material desires, alcohol, sex, of that I

Why the hobbit is a successful book

971 words - 4 pages short of a hero. For a hero does not have to be a towering man or a larger-than life sports figure, but rather a person who has conquered his fears and accomplished his goal. The Hobbit is a successful book because its tale takes an ordinary person and transforms him into a hero.By nature, Hobbits are not adventurers. They are a peaceful people who enjoy being to themselves and having everything in order. Never would a hobbit decide to leave on a

Is the World Developing a Homogenous Culture?

2122 words - 8 pages quickly abandon their former ideas and adapt to the new ones. The result is that authentic cultures are ruined which will lead to a global homogeneous culture. However, those who oppose this theory contend that cultures are not ruined but expanded and enhanced to create more complex and diverse societies. In my paper I examined both arguments as well as the way in which American popular culture is spread. In particular, I will focus on the

Translations(Brian Friel)is best read as an elegy for a doomed culture. The only response it elicits is to mourn that culture depicted in the play as forever lost. Do you agree?

1623 words - 6 pages enemy.Translations does portray the old culture and language of Ireland as doomed but there are many other responses that are generated by the text. Change and compromise as a positive experience are found within the text in the characters of Maire and Owen who represent progression. Although the play's general tendency is to romanticise the past Hugh is the character that most represents the old Ireland and he is depicted as being somewhat ridiculous and

The Book of the Duchess as a Chaucerian Consolation

2489 words - 10 pages and seeks to reverse the effects of sorrow rather than to transcend the causes. The prologue, in Book of Duchess, not only serves as a introduction to the vision that is to follow, but also gives the reader the atmosphere and the mood of the poem, which is love, sorrow and lament. The prologue illustrates that the Dreamer has complete psychic sympathy with the subject; as what could be more natural than the Dreamer should dream of longing while

This essay is about the book entitled Doungy by James Moloney. It contains a general insight into the book, as well as summaries and commentaries on the significant chapters

2071 words - 8 pages potential and to work towards their dreams- this is just like Dougy.James Moloney gives us so much to think about in such a little book. Dougy will give you plenty to think about, but you need to read between the lines to grasp all the hidden messages. James gives us a lot to think about and reading Dougy should really make you think about your life.Chapter 3Summary-· Family travels to Brisbane by train (pretty boring!)&middot

How Japanese Culture Is Inluencing America

1171 words - 5 pages This book, Japanamerica focuses on how the Japanese popular culture influencing the American culture. The author, Roland Kelts take a neutral prospective in order to create this book, which is done by interviewing many significant individual who took part in establishing the popular culture in both Japan and America. Kelts investigates why the phenomenon of Japanophilia, or the “outsider’s infatuation with Japan’s cultural character” (pg.5), is

Similar Essays

The Fast Food Culture Is Detroying America

4445 words - 18 pages . Kids would rather take a family trip to McDonald's where food is seen as fun, where their addiction to cartoon images, Disney film fantasies, and Ronald McDonald's never-never-land, can be fulfilled. Eating has practically become incomplete if the consumption of images, fantasies, or brand name logos are not also ingested with the meal. Advertisers play upon this unfortunate trend. Hypocrisy abounds in America, and the media gives us a clear

Atwood's Tricks With Mirrors As A Declaration Of Female Independence

1465 words - 6 pages become a mirror," (lines 4-5). She gives the impression that she is merely an object in this relationship - she is a mirror through which her self-absorbed lover may view himself. "Mirrors / are the perfect lovers," she states (lines 6-7). They show a constant and loyal reflection to whoever may stand in front of them. She is objectifying herself as she tells her lover to carry her carefully up the stairs and to throw her on the bed with her

The Past Is A Foreign Country

1582 words - 6 pages In the past, things were different to the present day. Thus "the past is a foreign country- they do things differently there" is an accurate comment about New Zealand's Society in the last century. Many of these differences can be seen in the text, "Tu", by Patricia Grace. Firstly, one of the crucial differences was the way Maori families in rural New Zealand lived near each other in iwi groupings. Next, the place of religion was an important

Music As A Culture In The Caribbean

759 words - 3 pages of rap music videos that they show on television, and it is always published in newspapers and magazines throughout the world. People in Africa, Europe, America, Asia and the Caribbean listen to this music. Some examples of rap artists are 50 cent, Ja rule and Eminem. Music today has become a huge part of people's life in the Caribbean and the world. It has become their culture and style. One major reason for this is that music today is well