Differences between Korean and American Culture
The main differences between Korean and American cultures are caused by religious traditions and values which shape both nationalities. Confucianism, Buddhism and sacred traditions play a crucial part in life of Korean people. In contrast, Americans pay less attention to religion and religious teaching relying more on education and personal wisdom. In Korea sex and gender is taboo while in America these are the most popular issues discussed in media and press. Cultural and language diversity are the main characteristics of modern America. Even within nations there is great cultural diversity, for example between the numerous ethnic and racial groups in the United States. Today, many bi-racial families face with the problems caused by educational segregation of their children, right violation and neighbors’ hostility. In Korea, cultural and economic diversity is caused by historical development of South and North Korea.
Korean culture has a great impact on housing and dress. In Korea, clothing reflects social rank of a person and his/her class position. In contrast, clothing in America reflects personal identity and unique taste of a person rather than his class location. Modern Korean food is influence4d by traditional cuisine: rice, beans, barley and seafood. In contrast, American food culture is based on fast food restaurants like MCDonalds and Burger King (hamburgers, salads and baked potatoes). There is a great difference between music, literature and movie industries. Many Koreans prefer comedies and dramas while Americans value thrillers and soap operas (McDonogh 78-79). In America prestige and fashion are more important than in Korea determining class location and self-identity. Koreans people value family relations and have big families (including parents and close relatives). Most immigrants see the American land as ‘a land of dreams’ paying less attention to old and rich traditions and values. This creates a conflict between foreigners and native population that shaped the American national culture.
McDonogh, G. Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Culture. Routledge, 2001.