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The Ugly American Stereotype


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This presentation demonstrates one of the ways in which the Ugly American Stereotype has been formed and skills and tools needed to reduce anti-American sentiment abroad

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The Ugly American Stereotype

  1. 1. “ The Ugly American Stereotype” The Practical Guide to Overcoming Anti-American Sentiment
  2. 2. Your Presenter: Kelly Burrello, President WorldReach Consulting & Training, Inc. <ul><li>Kelly is an experienced trainer, researcher and consultant in human relations issues such as diversity awareness, cross cultural interaction, and conflict management. She has trained over 100,000 managers, employees, students, and faculty in corporate, government, and academic institutions throughout the United States and abroad </li></ul><ul><li>Kelly has a M.S. Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University; B.A. Human Relations, Trinity College </li></ul><ul><li>Kelly is currently a David L. Boren, National Security Education Fellow. As a NSEP Fellow, Kelly traveled to Nigeria and successfully established a Conflict Management Program in a secondary school which included training 26 teachers and students as peer mediators </li></ul>
  3. 3. PRESENTATION AGENDA <ul><li>Why We Are Here </li></ul><ul><li>Stereotypes Defined </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How Stereotypes Are Formed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Common Stereotypes of Americans </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2005 Pew Global Attitudes Project </li></ul><ul><li>Case Studies </li></ul><ul><li>Tips and Tools for Changing the “Ugly American” Stereotype </li></ul>
  4. 4. Common Stereotypes of Americans Uniformed about Politics Women are Promiscuous Always in a Hurry Impatient Extravagant and Wasteful Snobbish Rude and Immature Rich and Wealthy Racist Promiscuous Loud and Obnoxious Lazy Insensitive Informal Ignorant of other countries and cultures Generous Extravagant and Wasteful Hardworking Disrespectful of Authority Boastful and Arrogant
  5. 5. The Pew Global Attitudes Project U.S. Image Up Slightly, But Still Negative
  6. 6. Pew Global Attitudes Project (Cont.)
  7. 7. <ul><li>Unfortunately, many foreigners equivocate US government policy and actions as representative of the character and beliefs of the American people. </li></ul>
  8. 8. WHY ARE WE HERE? <ul><li>Your Role in Changing the Way People from Other Countries Perceive Americans </li></ul><ul><li>Ambassador </li></ul><ul><li>Change Agent </li></ul><ul><li>The Representative </li></ul><ul><li>The Example </li></ul>
  9. 9. STEREOTYPES DEFINED <ul><li>Stereotypes are generalizations about a group of people whereby we attribute a defined set of characteristics to this group. These classifications can be positive or negative, such as when various nationalities are stereotyped as friendly or unfriendly. </li></ul>
  10. 10. HOW STEREOTYPES ARE FORMED <ul><li>Attitudes and belief systems of children are influenced by those of their parents, teachers, and other important figures in their lives. </li></ul><ul><li>Stereotypes are created by the way that various groups are portrayed in the media. </li></ul><ul><li>Brief interactions with a individual(s) from a certain group often cause us to attached perceived characteristics to all members of the group in which the individual belongs. </li></ul>
  11. 11. HOW STEREOTYPES AND ANTI-AMERICAN SENTIMENT ARE FORMED? <ul><li>“ The Ugly American” </li></ul><ul><li>The Ugly American is the title of a 1956 political novel by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer . It became a bestseller, was influential at the time, and is still in print. </li></ul>For some reason, the people I meet in my country are not the same as the ones I knew in the United States. A mysterious change seems to come over Americans when they go to a foreign land. They isolate themselves socially. They live pretentiously. They're loud and ostentatious. The phrase “Ugly Americans&quot; came to be applied to Americans behaving in this way .
  12. 12. HOW STEREOTYPES AND ANTI-AMERICAN SENTIMENT ARE FORMED? (Cont.) <ul><li>American films and television exaggerate in order to generate excitement, and so present a rather distorted picture of what life in the United States is really like. </li></ul>Wednesday Line up on Australian TV 2005 7th Heaven Fear Factor Judge Judy The Biggest Loser Oprah Winfrey Show Apprentice Everybody Loves Raymond The Simpsons Veronica Mars Charmed
  13. 13. HOW STEREOTYPES AND ANTI-AMERICAN SENTIMENT ARE FORMED? (Cont.) <ul><li>People in many countries feel left out; they feel that they can never be a part of, or enjoy the benefits of, the globalization movement led by U.S. business expansion. </li></ul><ul><li>Many people in other countries believe their local and national cultural values are being threatened by the values promoted by American companies and brands and/or the pervasiveness of our cultural product. </li></ul>
  14. 14. HOW STEREOTYPES AND ANTI-AMERICAN SENTIMENT ARE FORMED? (Cont.) <ul><li>American tourists are not always on their best behavior. </li></ul>Americans are broadly perceived by others as arrogant, ignorant, lacking in humility, loud and unwilling to listen.
  15. 15. QUOTES FROM AMERICAN TOURISTS IN MEXICO <ul><li>High School girls: Oh my God, can you believe the toilet paper dispenser was OUTSIDE the stall ? </li></ul><ul><li>Restaurant Patron: I asked for a &quot;real&quot; taco. </li></ul><ul><li>cab rider: I want &quot;real&quot; money in change and not pesos. </li></ul><ul><li>Student: Are all the Mexican women this fat? </li></ul><ul><li>Texas Housewife: Do you realize just how corrupt your government is here? </li></ul><ul><li>American male: I can't believe you Americans (expats) who want to live in such a poor country </li></ul><ul><li>Hotel Patron: Why don't you get ESPN? </li></ul>
  16. 16. QUOTES FROM AMERICAN TOURISTS IN MEXICO <ul><li>American woman in tour-group: You shouldn't feed your child something like that for breakfast! (She says this to a Mexican mother.) </li></ul><ul><li>American Country Club members: What do you mean there's no golf course here? </li></ul><ul><li>10-year old: But I wanted a Happy-Meal! </li></ul><ul><li>Elderly female: Walks into a bank and demands &quot;I know someone in here speaks English and I want to talk to them right now!&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>American Senior Citizen: But I demand a Senior citizen's discount on this roasted ear of corn. </li></ul>
  17. 17. CASE STUDIES <ul><li>Read the Case </li></ul><ul><li>Select a partner or small group </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss the Case study with you partner or group --- Using the questions below as a guide </li></ul><ul><li>10 minutes </li></ul>
  18. 18. CHANGING STEREOTYPES <ul><li>BASIC TIPS: </li></ul><ul><li>To change a person’s view of your stereotype, be consistently different from it. </li></ul><ul><li>Stereotyping can be reduced by bringing people together. </li></ul><ul><li>Beware of how your own stereotyping blinds you to the true nature of other individuals. </li></ul>
  19. 19. BEFORE YOU VISIT A COUNTRY OUTSIDE THE U.S. <ul><li>Educate yourself about your host country and its culture </li></ul><ul><li>Read basic factual and historical information on your host country </li></ul><ul><li>Learn about current events and try to talk to people who are from the host country or who have extensive experience there. </li></ul><ul><li>When you use people as resources, remember that they may give you biased information so listen carefully and try to get people to be objective. </li></ul>
  20. 20. CONSIDER & RESPECT CULTURAL DIFFERENCES <ul><li>EYE CONTACT – differs culturally and internationally, seek first to understand a behavior that may differ from what you are used to before judging the behavior as odd or negative. Accept different behaviors as just that, different, not abnormal or crazy or disrespectful. </li></ul><ul><li>PERSONAL SPACE – do not expect people to be comfortable with your personal space. Comfort from our personal space can vary dramatically and already has been found to differ culturally, and even when comparing men versus women. </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>FORMAL VS. INFORMAL – how we address each other, talk to each other, and how we build repertoire with people we are meeting for the first time can vary culturally, by country, by age, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>CONVERSATION STYLE – some people will offer their unsolicited opinion while others will wait to be specifically asked for their opinion. Encourage both kinds of people to participate. This is often culturally bound or determined. </li></ul>CONSIDER & RESPECT CULTURAL DIFFERENCES
  22. 22. CONSIDER & RESPECT CULTURAL DIFFERENCES <ul><li>RUNNING MEETINGS – there are right ways and wrong ways to run effective meetings where diversity of thought and opinion are encouraged and nurtured. You can challenge diversity of thought or opinion unintentionally in a meeting if you are not practicing effective meeting management skills. </li></ul><ul><li>SELF-IDENTIFICATION – It is not our place to tell someone else who they can and can’t identify with in a particular setting. It is always better to wait for the person you are interacting with to self-identify. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Check Your Behavior <ul><li>Notice how we are similar first, different second. </li></ul><ul><li>Learn about other cultures–join groups that you would not normally join. </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the negative impact of stereotypes on yourself and others around you. </li></ul><ul><li>Respect the opinions and rights of all human beings. </li></ul><ul><li>Treat others the way they would like to be treated–Platinum Rule. </li></ul><ul><li>Put yourself in the shoes of others–try to be understanding, sympathetic, compassionate, and empathetic. </li></ul>
  24. 24. CHECK YOUR BEHAVIOR <ul><li>Do not belittle or bemoan those different from you because of their differences. </li></ul><ul><li>Be inclusive, try to include everyone in your activities and decisions. </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage everyone to participate and seek feedback from others to ensure you are doing just that. </li></ul><ul><li>Understand that your actions may send a very different message that does not jive with your original intentions. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep an open mind. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Tips for interacting with people who speak different languages or with different accents <ul><li>Speak clearly and slowly </li></ul><ul><li>Seek clarification </li></ul><ul><li>Pause from time to time </li></ul><ul><li>Use pictures, signs, diagrams </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate as you explain </li></ul><ul><li>Use simple vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid raising your voice </li></ul><ul><li>Never measure a person’s intelligence by his/her accent </li></ul><ul><li>Expect the occasional misunderstanding </li></ul><ul><li>Get the help of an interpreter </li></ul><ul><li>Be open to coaching </li></ul><ul><li>Solicit feedback from others when appropriate </li></ul><ul><li>Smile and show warmth and friendliness </li></ul>