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Cultural Misunderstandings: The French-American Experience
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Cultural Misunderstandings: The French-American Experience

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  119 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Raymonde Carroll presents an intriguing and thoughtful analysis of the many ways French and Americans—and indeed any members of different cultures—can misinterpret each other, even when ostensibly speaking the same language. Cultural misunderstandings, Carroll points out, can arise even where we least expect them—in our closest relationships. The revealing vignettes that C ...more
Paperback, 162 pages
Published June 15th 1990 by University Of Chicago Press (first published May 1st 1987)
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When I first read Cultural Misunderstandings 18 or so years ago I thought it was an excellent reference because up to that time I had never really seen anything that pointed out cultural differences among people and of course those differences/misunderstandings are the things that trip up our relationships with others. I'm probably going in a circle with that sentence and not saying anything. Sometimes Americans (and maybe other people as well) measure others according to our own standards rathe ...more
A lot of good food for thought. I appreciate the explanation of everyday behaviors in a greater context of philosophies. YMMV: A lot of her descriptions of American life do NOT ring true to my experiences; I suspect the French readers may have similar reactions (as did I, but with a smaller sample size).
Just THE book that will explain why an American might be surprised in France and why a French would feel the same in the United States. Just perfectly relevant if you have ever been through any of those experiences. Thanks to this book, I learnt why you had this little flag up on your mailbox when you wanted the postman to take your mail!
The author, of French descent and now an anthropologist who teaches at Oberlin College, is engaged in studying how underlying presuppositions, behavioral customs, and hidden cultural assumptions can influence communication patterns and create unintended misunderstandings. I am puzzled by the fact that some of her observations and generalizations are very different from the picture of child rearing presented by Pamela Druckerman in her recently published book, Bringing Up Bebe. Carroll’s book was ...more
p137: The authors tells you why to practice cultural analysis, i.e. why to read this book?

"Because practicing cultural analysis will in no way change the aspects of myself which I consider to be essential but will enrich me with a new way of thinking, will provide me with an additional tool for my apprehension of the mysterious world around me, will give me access to a new type of pleasure, will afford me interesting discoveries both about myself and the other, both about my culture and that of
Steve Stegman
A short but fun read about culture clash and misunderstanding between The French and Americans. Some really interesting things about expected norms in both cultures which are perceived as rude in the opposite family....parenting....the home....the telephone....some hilarious opportunities to offend without ever knowing. Having just returned from France makes this even more enjoyable.
Not only is this book very accurate and well thought-out, all the issues and criticisms one might have with this kind of cultural research and comparison are fully fleshed out by the author. The reader understands the limitations of this kind of anthropological study as well as an incredible comparison of two cultures you would assume to be very similar.

I read this work while living in Paris, and it really enriched my experience. I now highly recommend cultural comparison books to any travelers
Eye-opening!! I recommend this book to all French expats in the US and American expats in France. This really hit the spot: while the book is a little dated, the culture shocks have not changed... I consider myself Americanized but this book made me feel better as it gave a reasonable explanation to every misunderstanding I've found myself struggling with and some more.
Ce livre est très interessant. On y apprend pas mal de choses sur la culture américaine et ça peut vous servir si vous prévoyez de passer quelques temps aux Etats-Unis. En effet, certains agissements, ancrés dans notre culture française, ne seront pas compris ou pas appréciés outre-atlantique. En somme, ce livre aide à mieux comprendre nos amis américains.
Mimi Voyer
Very enlightening! An anthropological hand-quide to understanding the difference (and similarities) between the French and American cultures! This is one of my text books for my French 420 class, and I think it's wonderful. Can't wait to finish it!
La perception de M. Carroll n'est pas claire. Je ne suis pas d'accord avec le point de vue de cet auteur. Il a raison de dire tous qu'il a inclu dans son livre. Mais je ne sui pas tout a fait d'accord avec sa rationale.
An interesting look at the differences between French and American culture, and how to see reality through another person's eyes. A little depressing from the point of view of assimilation.
Amazing! A must read if you are French or American going to live in the US or France, also for students studying abroad and above all for people in Franco-American relationships.
Sophie MH
An absolute waste of time and money! nothing new, nothing interesting, poorly written and researched. Avoid.
Cultural Misunderstandings: The French-American Experience by Raymonde Carroll (1990)
Princess Leia
Very interesting but very poorly written.
Nancy Schmuhl geilen
Dry--even for a non-fiction reader, like me.
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Goodreads Librari...: Please merge book pages and fix accents in the title 3 13 Sep 28, 2014 05:44AM  
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