Who can afford not to understand the USA? Underneath the gleaming smile of American popular culture lies a rich and complex society that brims with contrasts and contradictions. It is a culture of rugged individualism, of go-getters, of high-tech high achievers. At the same time it is a deeply religious country with a quiet devotion to church and charitable works.
This new edition of Culture Smart! USA reveals a society in transition. In an increasingly polarized political and cultural climate, and with an ever-widening gap between the haves and the have-nots, the rise of social media has given more Americans a voice. As Americans wake up to a changing world where their global economic dominance is no longer assured, attitudes and behaviors are being challenged and reassessed across the land.
Culture Smart! USA takes you on a tour of the core influences and ideals that have shaped this great country and have driven the behavior and attitudes found on Main Street and in the workplace. It looks at Americans at work, at home, and at play, and provides the visitor with an up-to-date cultural road map of this dynamic, multifaceted society.
Many visitors often misinterpret the warm, open American style of communication. While demonstrating good intention, phrases such as "let's do lunch" or "we must get together" are often not actual invitations, but rather a polite way to bring closure to a conversation.