Understanding Social Attitudes: The Clash of Collectivism and Individualism in Canada and the United States
- May 1, 2023
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When it comes to social attitudes and values, there are some key differences between Canadian and American cultures. One of the biggest distinctions is the importance they place on individualism versus collectivism.
Canadians tend to prioritize social peace, community, and cooperation, often volunteering in their communities and supporting small businesses. With a strong social safety net and universal healthcare system, Canadians also tend to view social and economic issues through a lens of equity.
On the other hand, Americans often prioritize individual rights, liberties, and self-expression, placing a greater emphasis on personal success over the efforts of others.
Another major difference between the two cultures is their communication styles and levels of courtesy. While Americans are typically more assertive and direct in their communication, Canadians are known for their politeness and warmth.
This can lead to miscommunication and misunderstandings in professional and social settings. For example, Canadians often avoid conflict and speak informally, even apologizing excessively, while Americans may come across as aggressive or blunt, even in situations where a more friendly approach would be expected in Canada.
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