I'd just like some point of views so I'd be able to feedback to my Humanities teacher. This site is American so I take it alot of people would be American and knowing what the USA thinks would allow me to write an essay. I'd like points from people worldwide so I'm using this site.
I have no problem with criticsm :)
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I suppose as an American I tend to see England as an old society. There are rules and common practices that have been around before my country was even formed. I think many Americans tend to see the English as more sophisticated or waspish than Americans. Many Americans derive these stereotypes from cultural practices like high tea. I think Americans also tend to feel that those from England see them a certain way. Many believe that the English see Americans as loud, obnoxious, and far less civil.
I visited England with a touring choir when I was much younger. I was a wonderful experience. I found a rich culture and, for the most part, a welcoming people. I did notice that England's youth seemed much more interested in politics and international affairs than the American youth. The only negative experience we had was some prejudice against Americans. On several occasions we were asked to leave an area or refused service. The reason given was because we were American. At the time, we were very offended. As an adult looking back on the experience, I think much of the problem had little to do with our nationality and more to do with a large group of rowdy teenagers.
I have always been an Anglophile, partly because I have long loved British literature and music and have enormous respect for the influence the British have had on world culture, even in their colonies. Britain was one of the first countries that evolved representative government, and there is a good reason for thinking of the British parliament as the "mother of parliaments." Britain has long had a remarkable impact on the world, especially in view of its relatively small geographical size and relatively small population.
You invite us to stereotype, so I will offer some relatively base-less impressions of an American looking at England (I've only visited once):
There is an old, but eroding notion in the US that the people of England are more culturally sophisiticated than the average world citizen. (Ricky Gervais has done something to "lower the brow" in our conception of high brow England.)
I see the British as people who are fashion conscious (with short hair and electronic music) but who are not fully into disco like Europeans (with music much more exclusively electric than the music of England).
I see a fascination with thug life that is highly relatable to Americans.
I see a growing set of divisions between classes also relatable to Americans.
This is a very broad question as there are a lot of different kinds of people in England. For example, I think that England has a problem with assimilating non-whites into its society. Of course the US has this problem as well, but not to the extent that England, with its large West Indian and Pakistani communities, does.
I think that England is a place where people are less "continental" in their outlook than other Europeans are. This is, from my perspective, why Britain has a more conservative government (even when Labour is in power) than places like France tend to. I also think this is why Britain refuses to join the euro.
Finally, I think that people in England worry too much about their shortcomings in sport. The amount of angst about the national soccer team and their inability to win a major competition since 1966 seems excessive...
We may be an American site, or at least based in America, but both our editors and contributors are spread throughout the world. I am American, and personally I think your question is a bit too broad to actually answer. I love visiting England though! I met a lot of actual interesting people there.
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