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Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:46 pm
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Joined: 11 Jan 2008
Posts: 373

Post subject: Help with Orrin's Intercultural Comm. Class Reply with quote

This shouldnt take long, but I am suppose to find out about a particular culture that I get to choose. I know that a number of you are from Great Britain so all these questions are directed at you. You can answer any of them or all of them as you like. You can go into as much detail as you like, I do prefer more than little, but any words are good words.

I am doing this for a project that is worth 15% of my total grade, so your help is appreciated. Please answer the following questions to the best of your ability:

1. In the UK, what are the three most popular pass times (either through observation or actively engaged)?

2. In the UK, Is it socially acceptible (speaking for the majority) to drink Alcohol or use Tobacco products?

3. Define Conservatism and Liberalism for the UK.

4. How would you say that the UK differs socially from the U.S. (speaking from purely your own knowledge)

1. What is your personal political alignment (Conservative, Liberal)? Do you adhere to some sort of political faction most of the time or do you consider yourself independant?

2. What is the most common political view for the majority of Britains?

3. From what you know, do you feel that President Barack Obama is a positive step for the U.S. for all three areas of: Economic, Diplomatic, and Domestic Decisions?

4. Do you feel that Great Britain's Justice, Legislation, and Executive governmental agencies are superior to that of the U.S.?

5. From what you know, do you believe that the constitution of the U.S. is a positive document (as a whole) for the U.S.'s history?

6. What are some of the main criticisms you and other UK members would commonly make in regards to the political process of the U.S.

7. Are there any political processes in the U.S. that you feel the UK lacks in and should model after the U.S. in?

1. What would be the most stereotypical thing you would eat if you were to eat "British Food"?

2. What is the biggest musical artist(s) that have come from the U.K.?

3. What are the biggest musical artist(s) that have come from the U.S.?

4. Do you feel that a majority of Britains/UK members are superior in culture compared to the U.S.?

5. Would you ever move to the U.S. for an extended period of time?

6. If yes to Q. 5, are your reasons for desiring to move to the U.S. based on Culture, Social, Political, or economic incentives?

7. If no to Q. 5, Why would you not want to ever move to the U.S. for a period of time?

8. Do you feel that the UK has a better education system than the U.S.? and why

9. Do you feel that the UK has a better Health and Welfare policy than the U.S.? and why

10. Do you believe that politicians from the U.S. are worse (morally, ethically, and literally) than the politicians in the UK?

11. How is the immigration policy in the UK effecting your country?

12. Feel free to add any other comment or concern you would like to add.

I hope you don't feel this is too much, but I do appreciate anyone who may respond to these. If you are not from the UK feel free to answer any questions from your own point of view. I will add them as a supplement to my project.

I look forward to hearing from all of you and if you respond, do expect that I will comment or ask you to elaborate a bit more. I will not start an argument on this thread purposefully, I only want to find out as much as I can about you all's culture.
If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw one of those small pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.
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Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:53 pm
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1. Football, drinking, moaning about the weather

2. To alcohol mostly yes it is. To tobacco it depends on the company you are in. Smoking in public places is now banned and the majority probably prefer it that way, including even quite a few smokers.

3. Conservatism - The basic idea of Conservatism is the idea that making a change tends to haveunintened consequences, and so government is usually best not making too much change. It also is associated with a tax/spend regime that has a small state and tends to favour the wealthy. It is has also been associated with racism, sexism and homophobia but the modern conservative party has tried very hard to dispel this idea. As it is in opposition it is difficult to know what they would do in power. On the one hand they still have an old-fashioned hardcore of supporters, but since these type of voters vote Conservative religiously it is not improbable that the the party leadership would follow mainstream policies that are non-discriminatory, to capture the middle ground.

The Conservatives are the main opposition party in the UK, and are expected to probably form the next government later this year or early in 2010.

Liberalism - The 3rd party in the UK is the Liberal Democrats, formerly two separate parties called the Liberals and the SDP (Social Democratic Party, a moderate left party that split from Labour who at the time were far left), which merged to form the Liberal Democrats in the late 1980s/early 1990s (not sure quite when).

Liberalism is associated with relaxed parenting, a relaxed view to religious adherence for those Liberals who are religious, a decriminalisation of drugs and possible prostitution. The economic side of Liberalism is more associated with The Conservatives now, and has been since the time of Margaret Thatcher. The Liberal party is less economically laissez-faire than the Conservatives (aka Tories) today, but for most of the 19th century the opposite was the case. The Liberal Democrats are nevertheless more of a laissez-faire economic party than the current governing Labour Party.

4. There are so many differences from one culture to the next. Where to start? Well, we are probably the most similar country to the USA of all countries in Western Europe, and are sometimes called the 51st state, but I will try to focus on the differences.

God is less important to the average Brit, and God tends to keep out of politics in the UK. The segments of society who are the most religious tend to be Muslim immigrants, and Catholics who have recently moved here from Eastern Europe.

Immigration in the UK has followed a different path to that in the US. There is generally less loyalty from immigrants toward the UK than there is for immigrants to the US. America has more successfully got people from all round the world to think of themselves as American.

The NHS is considered quite important here. Even the quite right-wing and economically liberal govt of Margaret Thatcher knew that the NHS was not to be privatised. The average Brit is quite proud that everyone gets healthcare here, even though as is the British way we complain endlessly about the NHS.

The business climate in the UK is probably worse than in the US. It is sometimes said Brits have a "can't do" attitude, whereas theaverage American can lose everything they own and be made bankrupt, and just dust themsleves off ans start again. That said it is possible to make a very good living as a hard-working small business owner in the UK.

So much to say that only scrathes the surface.


1. Liberal/social democrat. I have usually voted labour as I was brought up in quite a left-wing family, and we have a 2-party system where only Labour or the Conservatives can win. And we had 18 years of conservative government, including the first 12 years of my life. The Conservatives were a pretty nasty bunch and many of them still are.

I consider myself independent now but for many years I was Labour through and through. I would now like a Liberal Democrat government, and I will be voting for them even though they can't win. This Labour government has repeatedly promised to bring in proportional representation that would give the Lib Dems an equal chance, but hasn't done it. So I'll just vote Lib Dem and if the Tories win so be it.

2. Currently the Conservatives are leading in the polls.

3. Yes, yes, yes!!! (Climaxes)

4. On balance yes. Justice - Our judges seem to be quite independent and their power is strengthened by being able to refer even the British government to the ECJ. However on criminal justice you do hear of appalling crimes that get very lenient sentences. However the US justice system is famously bad, incarcerating and denying the vote to large swathes of the population.

Legislation - the Commons can do pretty much whatever it wants within European Law, and could withdraw us from Europe if it felt necessary. We do not have the problem of deadlock that strangle the US system, since the ruling party invariably gets its way. But this obviously means they are very powerful, and can take measures that the country is against, for example on introducing tuition fees or invading Iraq. I would like to see elements of the US Balance of power introduced into the UK legislative process, but it is vital to avoid deadlock or institutionalised status-quo maintenance that the US has. And we do have some balance of power in that EU law binds us, including on the important area of human rights, and the only way we can break that law if the ECK is adamant that we adhere, is to leave the EU altogether, which would have drastic effects on our economy and so is a truly drastic measure.

Executive - See legislative. The Commons is the supreme legislator and executive, butg in practice it appoints a cabinet as Executive, and the Prime Minister Lords it over the Cabinet, so the Prime Minister is in many ways supreme in the executive and legislative areas if the ruling party has a majority as big as it does now. Only rebel members of the ruling party can be a block to Executive power, or a rebellion in Cabinet.

5. It needs reform, as it is in my view too conservative, with a small "c" - it tends to inhibit meaningful change at home, with the Senate, Congress, President and SupremeCourt all blocking each other. It is also in my view undemocratic in the sense that the equality if voters is an illusion - a man with a hundred million $s has far greater say than someone of average income. In terms of money buying decisions, the US is th emost corrupt of all the major Western Nations. Witness the Clintons' failed attempts to bring in healthcare reform - the insurance and medical companies just bought congress off.

However the constitution allows for the President to do pretty much anything he likes with foreign policy. This is probably a strength, if not very democratic.

6. Money. Religion. Both hold way too much sway.

7. Not much. I think a greater balance of power is needed between institutions in the UK but since the US system ios so frequently deadlocked I think other countries provide a better example. Also I would like us to move to proportional representation, in which case we would need to look to the rest of Europe for ideas on how to implement that, rather than the US.

There are elements of US culture I admire in particular US consumers take no nonsense and there is a can-do attitude. And your political process seems capable of rapid change in regard to foreign policy but that is not an area where our system is any worse. And we have the advantage of being able to implement meaningful reform at home too, something that the US constitution inhibits.

We have already adopted the system of an independent central bank, which was a good move, but I can't think of much more we should want to borrow from your guys' system.


1. Maybe a roast dinner, or a fried breakfast. Fish and Chips is no longer the most popular take away food though so I would not say that. Indian curries have gone in their own direction in the UK and any visitor to the UK should go for a curry.

2. The Beatles, The Rollong Stones?

3. LOL. Elvis probably. Michael Jackson/Madonna more recently. Silly question, the US exports so much music.

4. Individually no. But our willingness to provide universal healthcare is in my view one superior aspect of our culture. I believe the average american has a phobia of government that through much of your history has had a negative effect on the welfare of US citizens. That said we have at times (1960s and 1970s in particular) been too dependent on govt.

We do have an ignorant underclass in the UK who have been failed by anyone who has tries to help them and have also failed to help themselves. So, we have our equivalent of the "Jerry Springer Class".

It is probably true that we have less of a unified culture than the US, with immigrants maintaining a stronger bond of loyalty and identity to their country of origin. America has more successfully got immigrants to identifyu as American, a considerable triumph of your culture.

5. Yes

6. I would move there if a job came up or I felt an opportunity may lay there for me. But I suspect Americans would annoy me - too enthusiastic. I would say that there are parts of America I could possibly make a life in, such as New York or San Fransisco, because of their liberal and cosmopolitan reputation. I could not live in the Bible Belt, or the Deep South, for cultural and political reasons, but I could live in SF or NY becaus ethey seem politically, culturally and socially European, and have strong economic bases.

7. -

8. Yes but it is very patchy. Our system is not good, but I do not haveany reason to beilieve the US system is any better. Don't know much about it though.

9. Yes. We actually have a health and Wealfare policy which is a good start.

10. Probably yes. Money seems to motivate too many of them.

11. It causes some discontent in some areas - to me the government needs to try harder to redistribute form the winners from immigration ( owners of businesses that get cheaper labour, and rich households who are able to employ cheap cleaners, builders and plumbers from the immigrants without having their own jobs threatened), to those who lose out, for example by spending mor emoney on frontline education and healthcarewhere immigration is high to ensure that Brits in those areas have as good a service as Brits in areas not so affected by mass migration.

Overall immigration has been immensely positive for the UK, but I would say that I am the son of a Greek immigrant mother.

12. No I am tired.

Hope that helps Maggy.

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Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:47 am
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Joined: 11 Jan 2008
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Crabbs, I saw that you mentioned that you would not like to live in the Bible Belt or the deep south. I understand that a lot of it may be obvious based off previous material you have provided, but what are some of your reasons for not desiring a stay in the deep south or bible belt and more importantly, name some of the stereotypes Britains have of the U.S. Bible Belt and deep south. You do not have to go into much detail if you do not want to.

One time I was asked, after telling a british person I lived in Texas, what my Horse's name way... The question did not neccessarily hurt my feelings, but it just shocked me. It was a serious question and I was simply shocked that someone from a different part of the world believes that a majority of Texans still ride horses. 88% of the population of Texas live in a Urban setting, but we still get asked if we ride a horse.

Are there similar stereotypes of Texans that British might often believe in?

Also, would you say that the following stereotypes of British people are inaccurate, hurtful, partly accurate, etc etc... (Keep in mind I am pulling these from websites and I do not believe them neccessarily)

1. British people have bad hygene and especially bad teeth.
2. British people are rude and pesimistic.
3. British people have a really negative view of the U.S.
4. British people are diplomatic and deep thinking
5. British people ride bikes all the time
6. British people are loud-mouthed, snobby, and overly vocal with complaints
7. British people are either drinking tea or beer
8. British people have great manners
9. British people have great posture
10. British people have a wonderful vocabulary as compared to Americans
11. British people cuss all the time
12. British people oppress the rights of the once was majority (I.E. Religious, conservatives, etc)

13. British people do not care about money as much as Americans

There is a lot more stereotypes, but I would like to hear some of you all's opnions on those stereotypes and also hear some stereotypes you may have of an American or more specifically a Texan.
If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw one of those small pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.
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Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:15 am
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PMSL. Yes the list is totally accurate, we are a nation of straight-backed aristocratic, foul-mouthed, well-mannered screaming diplomats with bad teeth.

What did you say the name of your horse was?

How's life under the wise rule of the former majority, the Mexicans?

Finally, will you be paying me for my time?

*sips beer tea*
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Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:36 am
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Joined: 24 Feb 2008
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I can tell you about people from Texas!

They speak with the "drawl"... you know it

When you think of Texans, you think of beer guzzling, pot bellied, ten gallon hat wearers who hate immigrants and love their guns and their cars (either a limo or a pickup truck)

Either you are a rich Texan or a poor Texan- there is no in between

Texans shoot first and ask questions later

Texans who go abroad to other countries "representing the U.S. of A" are NIGHTMARE

If you are a Texan, there is 99% chance that you love Jesus, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Republican party (and not necessarily in that order)


Oh and to Crabbs- you are certainly most welcome

Bruce Lee wrote:
“When the opponent expands, l contract. When he contracts, l expand. And when there is an opportunity...l do not hits all by itself”
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Thu Apr 16, 2009 4:57 pm
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lol those are mostly accurate.

I would say the only one that is not accurate is that your either a rich texan or a poor texan... we have a huge middle class populatrion... but then again that kind of stuff is subjective.

My horses name is Betsy. Smile jk
If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw one of those small pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.
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