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What are the major sociological differences between America and Canada?

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The U.S. is a far more violent country than Canada, with about five times the rate of violent crime than in Canada (see the link below). This is in part a result of looser gun ownership laws in the United States. In addition, the greater crime rate in the United States has been blamed on the American culture of individualism, which places great importance on the rights and liberties of the individual. Some argue that Canada is more communitarian, though a recent University of British Columbia study (see the link below) found that Americans and Canadians in reality are more similar than many people think.

The other differences in Canada stem from its longer association with Great Britain and its continued association with the British monarchy, while the U.S. long ago severed its political ties to Great Britain. Americans, while perhaps interested in the royal family as celebrities, are not subjects of the crown.

Canadians have often had to define themselves in opposition to the behemoth to the south, while Americans do not often define themselves with regard to Canadians. It can be argued that Americans see themselves as distinctive in the world, the beneficiaries of what has been called "American exceptionalism." Whether or not these views are valid, they have led the U.S. to be more bilateral or unilateral in approaching world affairs, while Canada is more multilateral.

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