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1、UNIT 31. Most Americans would have a difficult time telling you, specifically, what the values are that Americans live by. They have never given the matter much thought.2. Even if Americans had considered this question, they would probably, in the end, decide not to answer in terms of a definitive l

2、ist of values. The reason for this decision is itself one very American value their belief that every individual is so unique that the same list of values could never be applied to all, or even most, of their fellow citizens.3. Although Americans may think of themselves as being more varied and unpr

3、edictable than they actually are, it is significant that they think they are. Americans tend to think they have been only slightly influenced by family, church or schools. In the end, each believes, “I personally chose which values I want to live my own life by.”4. The different behaviors of a peopl

4、e or a culture make sense only when seen through the basic beliefs, assumptions and values of that particular group. When you encounter an action, or hear a statement in the United States that surprises you, try to see it as an expression of one or more of the values listed here.5. Before proceeding

5、 to the list itself, we should also point out that Americans see all of these values as very positive ones. They are not aware, for example, that the people in many Third World countries view some of these values as negative or threatening.In fact, all of these American values are judged by many of

6、the worlds citizens as negative and undesirable. Therefore, it is not enough simply to familiarize yourself with these values. You must also, so far as possible, consider them without the negative or derogatory connotation that they might have for you, based on your own experience and cultural ident

7、ity.Personal Control over the Environment6. Americans no longer believe in the power of Fate, and they have come to look at people who do as being backward, primitive, or hopelessly naive. To be called “fatalistic” is one of the worst criticisms one can receive in the American context; to an America

8、n, it means one is superstitious and lazy, unwilling to take any initiative in bringing about improvement.时会感到力不从心。他们从未仔细考虑过价值观这个问题。2. 即使美国人考虑过这个问题,他们最终也不可能决定以一张明确的价值观清单来回答。做出这样的一个决定,本身就是一个非常美国式的价值观他们相信每个个体都是独一无二的,相同的价值观永远也不可能适用于所有的美国公民,甚至不能适用于大多数公民。3. 尽管美国人可能认为他们自己比实际看上去更加变幻莫测,但重要的是他们的确认为自己变幻莫测。美国人

9、普遍认为他们受家庭、教会或学校影响很轻微。最终,每个人都认为“我个人会根据自己生活方式选择我的价值观”。4. 一个民族的不同行为方式或者一种文化之所以有意义,是因为人们通过该民族的基本信仰、看法和价值观念来看待它们。在美国,如果某一个行为或某一句话使你感到吃惊,那么你可以将其与下面罗列的价值观对号入座。5. 在探讨这个清单之前, 有必要指出美国人认为这些价值观是充满正能量的。他们没有意识到许多第三世界国家的人们可能认为其中一些价值观是消极或者可怕的。事实上,许多外国人认为美国人的这些价值观是消极和不受欢迎的。因此,仅仅熟悉这些价值观是不够的,还必须尽可能做到不因自身经历和文化身份而对这些价值观

10、有负面和贬损的看法。对环境的自我把握6. 美国人不再相信命运的力量,那些相信此道的人被认为是落后、原始和极其幼稚的。在美国语境下,“宿命论者”是对一个人最糟糕的评价之一;对美国人来说,这一评价意味着这个人迷信、懒惰且不思进取。7. 在美国, 人们认为人定胜天, 而非受制于自然的观点既正常又正确。更确切地说,人们相信每个人都应该控制周围环境中任何可能影响到自己的因素。The problems of ones life are not seen as having resulted from bad luck as much as having come from ones laziness in

11、 pursuing a better life. Furthermore, it is considered normal that anyone should look out for his or her own self-interests first and foremost.Time and Its Control8. Time is, for the average American, of utmost importance. To the foreign visitor, Americans seem to be more concerned with getting thin

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