USA: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture (Culture Smart!)
Who can afford not to understand the USA? Many facets ofAmerican life have been embraced around the world, yet the sense of“just like in the movies” familiarity that first-time visitorsoften feel can be misleading. Underneath the gleaming smile ofAmerican popular culture lies a rich and complex society that brimswith contrasts and contradictions. It is a culture of ruggedindividualism, of go-getters, of high-tech high achievers. At thesame time it is a deeply religious country with a quiet devotion tochurch and charitable works. This updated new edition of CultureSmart! USA also reveals a society in transition. The USA respondedto the 9/11 attacks by embarking on two overseas wars, while athome the subprime mortgage crisis rippled through the economy,bringing the first African-American president to power during thebiggest recession since the 1920s. In an increasingly polarizedpolitical and cultural climate, and with an ever widening gapbetween the haves and the have-nots, the rise of the social mediahas given more Americans a voice, from the Tea Party on the rightto the Occupy Wall Street movement on the left. As Americans wakeup to a changing world where their global economic dominance is nolonger assured, attitudes and behavior are being challenged andreassessed across the land. Culture Smart! USA takes you on a tourof the core influences and ideals that have shaped this greatcountry and have driven the behavior and attitudes found on MainStreet and in the workplace. It looks at Americans at work, athome, and at play, and provides the visitor with an up-to-datecultural “road map” of this dynamic, multifaceted society.