This analysis gets it source material from a project initiated by a British newspaper, Guardian Weekly. This paper encouraged its readership to contact American voters in Clark County, Ohio and Americans responded in writing, “Dear Limey assholes.” In evaluating these American comments, it appeared that twenty represented individualistic points of view and fourteen appeared to be collectivists. Ms. Khan identified individualistic type cultures as being competitive. She identified collectivistic cultures as ones that seemed to understand relationships and to be better at team work than individualistic cultures. By examining the negative aspects of these American comments, they may serve as object lessons on communication mistakes to avoid.
For negative aspects displayed, many of the articles referred to how bad the British teeth were and other health care related problems. For example, a person from Wading River, New York, said, “Brush your goddamned teeth you filthy animals.” Degrading someone from another country, by calling them filthy animals, is a poor attempt to make the writer feel better about themselves as an American. Although communicating in this form does not build an understanding, or nurture future cooperation. Those who wrote from the collectivistic perspective were polite; unfortunately they were usually very brief in their comments. Few collectivists attempted to communicate the impact this project and the outcome of the election may have on their lives. For example, a collectivist from Ohio said simply, “your idea is superb and frankly, we need a little help over here right now.” This statement says very little and does not communicate the writer’s perceived needs. This lack of communication made it appear that most collectivists did not thoroughly evaluate their current situation.
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Interestingly enough, one individualist did remain polite and went further by offering constructive criticism. Washington D.C. wrote, “The British have a similar voice in US policies – through your own elected representatives who have any number of diplomatic, economic and military tools at their disposal. You vote for your leaders and we’ll vote for ours.” This individualist cogently outlined how the British readers could effect change through current diplomatic channels. And, one collectivist, who was uncharacteristically blunt, managed to communicate by helping the reader visualize their absurdity by proverbially walking a mile in another man’s shoes. United States writes, “Just, for a second, imagine if the Washington Post sent folks from Ohio to do the same in Oxfordshire.” Oddly enough, both the individualists in the previous paragraph and the collectivist here, revealed similar conclusions. Here, both the individualist and collectivist were able to express their own ideas by helping the reader visualize a new perspective.
Most individualists appear to insult others, while most collectivists do not appear to evaluate things enough. Breaking through these traits and helping the British visualize their actions in a new way, allowed a patient individualist and a verbose collectivist to communicate through constructive criticism. In the future, I hope to make decisions based on my own circumstances, and then express my choices in ways that others can understand as well.