Analysis Of Distant Mirrors

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When living in our day to day culture and environment we tend to not look at the way we operate as a society. We also take an ethnocentric point of view when looking at another cultures day to day operations. The book, “Distant Mirrors: America as a Foreign Culture by Phillip R. DeVita & James D. Armstrong” is a compilation of essays written by anthropologists that ask questions about American cultures and values. It is important to have a grasp on the values and beliefs of your own culture as well as others and take an ethnographic approach (Amazon.com, 2015). After reading this book I learned that there were a few recurring themes in the essays. These themes were the American social relationships, individuality, and how Americans pride themselves on their own personal gain. In the essay, “My American Glasses” by Francisco Martins Ramos, professor of Anthropology at University of Evora, Portugal, visited America 12 times in a period of 8 months. He described it as a “Land of great success, cradle of democracy, and unrestrained jungle of competition with a model to follow” This refers to the economic model of capitalism with little government interference with businesses. Ramos describes several experiences where he felt as if this was contradicted, especially when it came to the usual U.S custom of tipping. As an American …show more content…
Kim from South Korea, writes a letter to his friend about what it is like to visit America. He explains how he although he attended certain events in the American culture such as potluck dinners, luncheons, retirement parties, birthday parties, Sunday Brunch, etc. Although he was participating in these activities he never felt like an American. Kim also warns his friend that his wife will start exercising her individuality and this is something he should be prepared for, as individuality is a value in American

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