culture - The People Throughout most of its history, the...

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The People Throughout most of its history, the United States has had influxes of immigration. The ethnic mix is 83% white (generally of European descent, but also from the Middle East and Latin America), 12% African-American, 3% Asian and about 1% Native American. Today the biggest immigrant groups are from Latin countries. Meeting and Greeting American greetings are generally quite informal. This is not intended to show lack of respect, but rather a manifestation of the American belief that everyone is equal. Although it is expected in business situations, some Americans do not shake hands at social events. Instead, they may greet you with a casual "Hello" or "How are you?" or even just "Hi." In larger groups, many may not greet you at all. In social situations, Americans rarely shake hands upon leaving. The only proper answers to the greetings "How do you do?" "How are you?" or "How are you doing?" are "Fine," "Great," or "Very well, thank you." This is not a request for information about your well-being; it is simply a pleasantry. "See you later" is just an expression. People say this even if they never plan to see you again. When saying good-bye, Americans may say "We'll have to get together" or "Let's do lunch." This is simply a friendly gesture. Unless your American colleague specifies a time and date, don't expect an invitation. If you want to have lunch, you should take the initiative to schedule it. Stand while being introduced. Only the elderly, the ill and physically unable persons remain seated while greeting or being introduced. It is good to include some information about a person you are introducing. Example: "Susan Olson, I'd like you to meet John Harmon. He designed the brochure we are using for this campaign." Use professional titles when you are introducing people to each other. Example: "Judge Susan Olson, meet Dr. John Harmon." If you are introducing yourself, do not use your professional title. Handshakes are usually brief. Light handshakes are considered distasteful. Use a firm grip. Eye contact is important when shaking someone’s hand. Body Language Keep your distance when conversing. If an American feels you are standing too close, he or she may step back without even thinking about it. People who like to touch really like touching, and people who do not like to touch really dislike being touched. You will need to watch your colleagues for clues on what they are comfortable with. Americans are generally uncomfortable with same-sex touching, especially between males. Holding the middle finger up by itself is considered insulting and vulgar.
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Americans smile a great deal, even at strangers. They like to have their smiles returned. Men and women will sit with legs crossed at the ankles or knees, or one ankle crossed on
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This note was uploaded on 12/17/2011 for the course B.A 13 taught by Professor Cr during the Spring '11 term at Haverford.

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culture - The People Throughout most of its history, the...

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