Values and Behaviors in the multicultural workplace
Comparing the United States & France
13 March 2011
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Attitudes to alcohol 4
Physical Distance between People 7
Religion and its importance 8
Formality of dress in business 9
Public Transport 10
Housing standards 11
Respect for Authority12
The French and the United States cultures are quite different from each other, and unless someone has traveled to their non-native country they do not know how they act but still believe some of the stereotypes. In this cultural briefing we will be examining the cultural differences between the French culture and the United States culture. Concentration will bemaintained through eight specific areas found to be the most useful to know about they are as follows: Attitudes to Alcohol, Hospitality, physical distance between people when they speak, religion and its importance …
The goal of this cultural briefing is to improve the understanding of two different cultures, allowing anyone to read this paper from France or the United States and havea better understanding of how to act. It will improve your knowledge of French based society as well as Unites States society very well because it was written by French students and American students working together.
Attitudes toward alcohol
Attitudes toward alcohol differ between the French and United States cultures. A common misconception is that United States citizens areone of the heaviest consumers of alcohol in the world. According to a study conducted by the World Health Organization, Alcohol Consuming Countries on per capita Basis Country / Consumption in Gallons of absolute or pure alcohol, revealed that the United States ranked 32nd on the list of consumption by country at a consumption rate of only 1.74 per person. In comparison, France was ranked 3rdwith a consumption rate of 2.87. Differences in culture are what accounts for the unexpected results.
French history plays a big factor in the high consumption rate of France. France is one of the oldest wine producing countries in Europe and is the highest producer of wine, in terms of value, in the world. Because of this history, wine and alcohol in general has been integrated into theeveryday life of French citizens. France is considered to be a wet drinking culture. This means that it is socially acceptable to consume alcohol on a daily basis whereas dry cultures place restrictions and more profound taxes on the availability and sales of alcohol. Wet cultures generally consume more beer and five times the amount of wine than that of a dry culture which stands true withthe consumption rate of France. It is also common for children in France to be served watered down wine with meals even though the legal drinking is officially 18.
Contrary to the French culture, the United States is considered to demonstrate both wet and dry cultural trends. This can be partially rooted from the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution that is also known as theNational Prohibition Act. Beginning in 1920, the 18th Amendment banned the sale, manufacture and transportation of alcohol for consumption for the nation as a whole. "Drunkenness was condemned and punished, but only as an abuse of a God-given gift. Drink itself was not looked upon as culpable, any more than food deserved blame for the sin of gluttony. Excess was a personal indiscretion.”-From an unknown author. The purpose behind the amendment was to place social controls on society in order to uphold the belief that the abuse of alcohol was unacceptable. The 18th Amendment was later repealed in 1933 by the ratification of the 21st Amendment which was strongly influenced by the Great Depression. This history, combined with a 21 years of age drinking law, the United States is...
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