Here and There
Here and There
  • Ethan Hardy Carbone
  • 승인 2007.06.20 13:25
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Compared to Korea, American culture tends to undervalue the importance of education.  American education also seems to fulfill needs of the market economy rather than the self determined education of students.  The advanced technology and science based U.S. markets are lagging behind those of other Eastern countries including South Korea because far less American students study science, mathematics and engineering.  Since such subjects are more boring in comparison to subjects involving self expression, those subjects require more self disciple to master. 

Without the large amount of obedience and self discipline that Korean students tend to practice, American students are more likely to avoid things they don't enjoy.  Consequently, less enjoyable subjects are not very popular in American schools.  Regular social customs in Korea seem to require a significant amount of self discipline.  Displaying reverence to elders, behaving according to social expectations, maintaining established norms, limiting self expression and using proper etiquette in Korean society seems to be quite complex, perhaps requiring a capability for self discipline beginning from a young age.

In contrast, American culture puts more value on doing what one wants to do.  The concept of individual freedom and self determination plays a big role in American social values.  For this reason, American students usually spend their leisure time trying to have fun. Compared to Korea, illegal substances are abundant in the U.S.  The most common one is called marijuana, which is not a drug, but an herb which doesn’t have chemical additives or addictive components.  Many American students smoke that herb and enjoy it. 

Unlike Korea, American students don’t usually go on blind dates.  In the U.S., it’s very easy to meet new people and for that reason, blind dates seem rather useless to most American people, who would rather meet people naturally rather than having prearrangements with strangers. Thirty years ago, average American students were able to pay for most college expenses by working a full?time job for minimum wage during summer break.  Since then, the cost of tuition has risen at a rate much faster than the small wages for jobs that students tend to work.  Consequently, on top of work, many students must apply for financial aid and bank loans in order to pay for shelter, food and college expenses.

Most American students move out of their parents’ houses when they reach adulthood.  During this time, they become more independent, paying for living expenses and working part time.  Since young people tend to lack the economic wisdom that’s gained through experience, students are known to spend money more frivolously than other age groups in the U.S.  Also, compared to people with stable jobs and families, students tend to be more socially insecure.  People who lack self?confidence and assurance are a high priority for marketing strategists. 

American television advertising has a large impact on how young people think of themselves, setting standards for beauty, attraction and interest.  People with social insecurities can easily be convinced to buy products if they believe the product will bring them more social acceptance or popularity among their peers.  Using credit cards for trendy consumerism traps students into cycles of debt.  Credit card and fashionable clothing companies profit from college students’ reckless consumerism.  Since education is a human right, the U.S. economic system needs to become more compatible with student life, to the extent that education has more impact on the economy and market trends have less impact on education.

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