Similarities and Differences between American and European Values Essay.
Sample Essay fits: europe vs america know the difference, similarities between us and europe, american vs european culture, similarities between american and european culture, the american-western european values gap, cultural similarities between us and europe, european american culture values, european lifestyle vs american lifestyle
Different countries have varying value systems. The US values are comparable to those of the European countries (Robbins & Sage Publications, 2007). A close look can give a picture of the contrasting and the similar features of the two regions. Such areas of the value systems that can be compared and contrasted include the role of the religion. Additionally, one can draw an analysis of the belief about homosexuality, politics, individualism and the role of the state. Moreover, the utilization of the military has some similarities and dissimilarities too. The other areas of comparable values include the availing or limiting of the assistance to other countries as well the belief their cultural systems.
In the face of the military utilization, the US has been observed to have a preference for the hard military power focus. Since the 1990s, the US has been observed to exercise hard power policies against external aggressions (Carroll & Noble, 2001). This fact was observed in Kosovo, Bosnia, and Iraq, where the US military have been lately deployed. On the other hand, the Europeans countries have been observed to focus on the soft power. In this view, the European militaries are widely deployed for peacekeeping missions. Usually, most of the European military interventions are directed by the UN. Additionally, the US military actions depend on the multilateral cooperation under the utilitarian approach. Contrariwise, the most of the European military actions are attributed to the basis of the international law. As a result, the military force of the European countries is guided by the UN statutes. However, both regions have common perceptions of a threat as demonstrated by their individual security strategies (Darity, 2008).
On the other hand, the value of international engagements also differs. According to the PewGlobal, more than 50% of the US populace believes that the country should deal with its problems before extending any assistance to the foreign countries. In the European counterparts, the trend is similar. Nevertheless, Germany and Spain express more open-mindedness in assistance than in isolation (The American-Western European Values Gap, 2011). The PewGlobal surveys also indicate the about 49% and 47% of the US and Germany residents, respectively, regard their respective cultures as superior to any other. However, that similarity is obscured in all the other European countries. In France, for example, only around 27% of the residents belief that the French culture is superior to any other (Merrill & Paterson, 2006).
Additionally, the two systems have a varied view on the role of individuals and that of the state. In the US, around 58% of the residents value individual efforts and freedom from the government intervention (The American-Western European Values Gap, 2011). This proportion is very high in comparison to that of different European countries. In fact, no European populace has more than 50% score in the belief of individualism in personal endeavors. Moreover, around 62% of the US populace belief that every bit of success is determined by personal forces and not the government practices. On the contrary, most of the European populaces think that one cannot succeed without engaging other forces beyond the personal efforts. In fact, it is only in Britain, among the European countries, where more than 50% of the populace belief that one can succeed without engaging other forces apart from the personal ones. These variations show the differences in the value of individualism.
When it comes to the value of religion, the Americans have more value for the religious systems than the Europeans. This view is observed by the PewGobal in a survey to determine how important religion is to the two groups. According to the surveys, 50% of the Americans deem religion as very important in their lives. This figure is highly escalated in comparison to the European scores. In fact, it is only in Germany and Spain where around 20% of the populace view of religion as a very important social system have. Moreover, more than 50% of the US residents attributes morality to God’s wish. On the other hand, more than 66% of European counterparts think that morality can be achieved without the adherence to the Wish of God. Nevertheless, the conservative residents of the US, Germany, and Spain are equally likely than the liberal ones to affirm the necessity of believing in God as the source of good moral values. Finally, the European value system shows a higher tolerance for homosexuality than the US counterpart. In fact, Germany, France, Spain and England show more than 80% acceptance of the homosexuals (The American-Western European Values Gap, 2011).
In conclusion, the US and the European values systems show a significant difference. The US utilization of the military exercises hard power whereas the European countries, on the other hand, exercise soft power. However, the two regions have a similar perception of their security threat. Additionally, the variations are demonstrated in other areas of individualism, cultural superiority, religious beliefs and the perceptions towards homosexuality. Moreover, the residents have express different values towards the engagement or isolation of their home countries in the international affairs. These variations and similarities can be observed in the surveys that are regularly conducted by PewGlobal.
Carroll, P. N., & Noble, D. W. (2001). The free and the unfree: A progressive history of the United States. New York: Pengui
Darity, W. A. (2008). International encyclopedia of the social sciences. Detroit, Mich: Macmillan Reference USA.
Merrill, D., & Paterson, T. G. (2006). Major problems in American foreign relations: Documents and essays. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Robbins, P., & Sage Publications. (2007). Encyclopedia of environment and society. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
The American-Western European Values Gap. (2011, November 17). Retrieved May 14, 2015, from http://www.pewglobal.org/2011/11/17/the-american-western-european-values-gap/