Friday, April 10, 2009

Seminar Movie

So I couldn't post on the seminar blog so i decided to post here!!!!! So in the movie there was one thing that i noticed that didn't really seem fair. It seemed like through out the movie, all of the countries were expected to know about America. and then they made fun of the Americans for not knowing about other cultures. It was like they expected the US to know to know about 5 other cultures when they only knew about 1. It would be interesting to ask them about cultures other than the US and see what they knew

Vincent

11 comments:

Callie said...

That is an interesting point, Vincent. I think that it was interesting how the Listeners asked questions that made the people really oversimplify and stereotype Americans. I don't think that if people from other cultures were to watch a film with Americans oversimplifying their culture that they would like it very much. However, I think a knowledge issue is that you are assuming that some of the people interviewed only knew about the U.S. and I am sure that they are aware of at least a few other countries and cultures other than their own and the U.S.

Kaelee said...

That is a very interesting point that you bring up and in my tok class we actually talked about that. I agree i also found in very interesting and kind of shocking however at the same time the majority of the other countries knew the same sterotypes that are really common about the united states. The only person who i believe actually knew facts about the united states was the one Chinese guy who briefly talked about Martin Luther King. In addition to what Vincent said, i would like to ask them about France or China or other countries that hold a lot of importance in the world and see what the other countries know about those places because the united States does hold a lot of importance for the rest of the world but so do those other places. One reason that i think they know about the united States is we have always got involved in other countries bussiness starting back when T. Roosevelt was president.

tpau said...

This is a good point to bring up. We went over it kind of in our class and discussed how if you would have asked them about another country, not the US, they might not be faimiliar with it and arn't expected to know everything about it. I think that our media pushes alot of information and stereotypes into other countries and we play a big role in economics and other things in other countries and so influence them in some way although they might not impact us as much as much. To expect people to know everything about every country isn't as realistic.

Ashley P

Bismah A. said...

This is an interesting point... but I would disagree with the previous comments. Having lived in Germany for a couple of years I was immersed in that culture and have also experienced Middle Eastern cultural views on my visits to Pakistan and Canada as well. There is no doubt about it that the US tends to dominate world politics, so naturally other cultures are much more informed about us than we are about them. In Europe there is a very enhanced understanding of other countries and their cultures, and although geographic proximity has something to do with this, in my experience europeans are much more open and aware of other cultures than people in the US.

So although its true, it is a bit ridiculous to expect americans to know about all the countries in the world, we as a culture can become more aware, and also seek out information and exposure to other cultures.

Ryan Beethe said...

I agree with Vincent's point that we can't be expected to know everything about all other countries. However, I disagree with the idea that other people are hypocritical to have such a stereotypical view of Americans. I found that most of the things that people were saying on the movie aligned pretty well with what some Americans would say about other Americans... I didn't really hear any completely new points of view. For example, the people in the Indian villiage were complaining about how American business was trampling their villiage, but I hear plenty of Americans talking about how callous big businesses are, so it's not a completely new point of view. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that you can't put down other people for speaking out against our country on grounds that they only have a stereotypical view of Americans, when they sound just like Americans.

adriane g. said...

Vincent I completely agree with you, that was one of the things that was bothering me about the documentary as well. Another point that came to my attention while watching the film was that the U.S. is clearly a large, relatively successful nation which many people know a lot about (and in some cases they know as much about the U.S. as they do about their own country). In my mind, the main reason why people from all over the world know so much about our nation is that American media can be found everywhere. Maybe it's just me, but I can't think of any other country that advertizes itself and its people as much as the U.S. does. So I guess one could argue that people from other nations know so much about our country because they are interested in it or simply drawn to the media, but couldn't it also be suggested that we are forcing our culture and knowledge of our country on others?
Then in response to Vincent's comment (again which I totally agree with) I would like to add that it is chiefly because of the exposure to U.S. media that so many people are aware of our country and our people. Maybe if Americans were able to see and hear more from the media of other nations we could become more aware as well.

Lindsey Goris said...

America is definately one of the most active powers in the world (as most people have already said)and that is a major reason that other cultures know so much about it. It would be interesting to see if the countries in the film knew as much about each other as they do about the US.
But considering that the US is a major world power do we have a responsibility to understand the other countries we are affecting with our actions? If so then the views expressed in the film are correct. Perhaps with the ammount of power America has comes a responsibility to understand the people we are affecting and interacting with. Having said that I do agree that it is a bit hypocritical to expect Americans to know about all of the other cultures in the world when they can't say that they know all about each other either. I just think that maybe we should be making an effort to better understand the world considering what a large effect we have on it.

Audrey said...

I had that same problem with the movie, but then again, it's unrealistic on the other hand to expect anyone to know anything about the US except how we have advertised ourselves, especially when it would be hypocritical. More than that, though, I had a problem with the questions the listeners were asking (Callie brought this up too...). With all of these resources already going into this project, I feel like they could really have gone in depth and get some varied opinions representing real people. Instead it seemed to me that each person was in a group, and there was an angry group and a supportive group but not a lot of diversity within the groups. I'll bet these people have much more nuanced and interesting opinions and the project should have been about hearing them, rather than imposing structure on them. Though I think it's important to see the hypocrisy here, it's almost beside the point in my opinion.

Nick said...

I think this is a fantastic point. I also noticed this in the movie, and one of the parts about it, though I really enjoyed the movie a lot, was that most of the people giving their opinions seemed to fit into certain groups. A few other people mentioned this and I completely agree. Although the views expressed in the movie seemed to be unscripted and those of the individuals that were presenting them, all of the people seemed to fit into two or three different categories. There were the people who generally supported America (the vast minority) and the people who didn’t, but none of the people on either side of this argument had much evidence to back up what they were saying. There were only two or three people in the movie as a whole who actually knew more about America than can be learned from our media. An example of this that stuck with me was the boy in...I want to say Africa but I'm not sure. He was talking about how his friend always makes him watch Cribs and asks if it makes people happy when they come home driving one car and leave in another. He also commented on the wastefulness and needless overspending of these people, but it felt to me like he believed that this was how all people in America lived. I realized that many of the people portrayed in this video did know a lot about America, but it seemed that many of them took the one image of the "American" that they had experienced and used those terms to define America as a whole and all Americans.

Nick C

Karam said...

This is definitely a great point to bring up Vincent. However, I do believe because of the span of influence the United States has in the world, we are more likely to see a Palestinian man know a thing or two about the United states as opposed to a Texan understanding the culture of Brunei. I believe that the movie should be credited in that it expressed a diverse collection of interviews in terms of culture, but I believe it would have been interesting if there was more variety in each group, with interviews varying from different ages, races, religions, and social classes to truly give a much better understanding of how other cultures view the United States.

Elle said...

Vincent brings up a very good point. As a nation of such power, strength and name in the world, we are excepted to know a lot about other cultures and countries. It would be very interesting to make a documentary about other cultures views of one another excluding the United States. For instance, I wonder how Germans view Russians and so on. I feel that as a member of this vast world that we all have the obligation and responsibility to learn as much as we can about one another and only from there make our opionions. It would also be interesting to directly ask people from different countries what they know about the United States and then see how much of it is actually factual.