The French and Americans have very different ideas of what should and shouldn't be private. An example given in the book is when the authors were walking around a town in France and came across a fig tree, as the authors and the parents of one of them were looking at this tree the owner of the property they were on came out. When he came out he was very friendly telling them the history of the property and the town, even giving them some of the town gossip. He let them try the figs and even gave them some homemade fig jam, after talking outside for awhile he invited them in. After talking for a long while inside, they had to be going, and on the way out they had asked for the mans name. The man was not pleased with this for this was something too private to give to people he just met. This example shows how different the idea of privacy differs from one culture to another. Americans tend to think that gossip and political views and such is a private matter, while the French feel revealing name and occupation is private.
When I read this part of the chapter I was shocked! That seems like such strange thing to do because they're complete strangers to this man and vice versa. But I guess that's just French culture, which in all honest is kinda cool. Good post :-)
It is a little weird that French people think that their names and occupation should stay private. But than again our social norm is different than theirs.
This shocked me too! It is so common for us to share our occupations and names very freely in conversations that it is hard for us to believe that it is considered private information in other countries.
It seems like the French and American both value our their privacy, they just have different notions about what is and isn't private.
This was the most surprising thing to me from this chapter! It was really interesting that giving out one's name or occupation would be considered too personal, but allowing someone into one's home is more acceptable.
3. The French notion of privacy is very different from ours. One example would be not flat out asking for someones name. In America, introducing yourself is the first thing you do, it’s the most polite thing to do. In France you don’t do that. You learn their name through conversation. Another one of the biggest differences that shocked me was how the French don’t publicize the romantic lives of celebrities/political figures. In America we let those kind of personal details somewhat drive our decisions and ideas about that individual. In France those things are seen as a very private matter. I think America should adopt that type of ideology. Keep personal issues personal, unless they directly effect the public. One thing I think the French should learn from us is to call out people in power when they abuse the system. Yes, some topics are private but when they directly influence the public then they need to be brought to attention.
I totally agree with that France needs to learn to call out people in power when they abuse the system. If people know ones been abusive of their power, then they shouldn't feel afraid to let others know.
The French and Americans have a totally different understanding of a privacy social norm. In the book, they talk about how perfect strangers invited them into their homes and spent an entire afternoon entertaining them. They also offered them their car if needed! That right there is something I know most people in America wouldn’t do. Here in America a car is usually a luxury and something people have to work hard to get and maintain, so lending your car to a complete stranger is unheard of here in America. One other thing is that the French aren’t shy to kiss or argue in public. Here in America, people tend to not let their personal lives be so out and freely in public like France.
Based on this chapter, it was obvious that French do seem more trusting than Americans, considering they are willing to lend people their car so easily.
I totally agree about letting someone drive your car, i know i would never be able to
American and French social norms appear to be polar opposites. While in America and meeting a stranger, the first conversation is typically about your name and occupation. This is how almost all conversations begin in America, and it would most likely be considered strange to not share that information about yourself when speaking to someone for the first time. In France, the opposite is true. In “60 Million Frenchman Can’t be wrong”, the authors explain that it is extremely uncommon and even considered odd to share your name and occupation when you are first meeting someone. The information is “private” to the French, so it is not on public display like it often is in the United States. Another social norm that is different is the trust that French hold on complete strangers. For example, the authors explain that some people in France will randomly let strangers come into their home to have conversations and sometimes even eat with them. They also allow strangers to borrow cars and other belongings. In the United States, these acts would be quite dangerous, so nobody really does this. Overall, throughout the reading, it was obvious that France and the United States have very different ways of thinking, and the social norms here are completely different than the social norms in France. This is true of most places in the world. Some Chicago customs and norms are not considered normal in other places such as New York or Los Angeles, and vise versa. Jess
I definitely think that what Americans and the French consider to be private is different, but both countries highly value privacy. We just have a different application of the term
Great points on the differences between the two cultures
I think it is so interesting how trusting the French are, considering in America, we struggle to trust our own neighbors.
In the chapter “Private Space,” authors Julie Barlow and Jean-Benoit Nadeau give readers a sense of what privacy means in France. Not only is it valued, but can be applied to many situation that Americans may find non-private issues.
Nadeau and Barlow give the example of an American custom of asking someone what their name is to show that in France, this would be a breach in privacy. The authors give an anecdote about meeting a farmer who gave them a tour of his place and invited them inside his house for refreshments, when Nadeau’s father asked him what his name was. Nadeau’s father thought the farmer to be rude for not having introduced himself and the farmer thought Nadeau’s father to be rude for asking. The authors go on to explain that the French have a very different sense of privacy and what is and is not private. Someone’s name, for example, is private information and is not given to stranger so freely.
Americans and other foreigners find this behavior to be strange without looking at the reasons (or in this case, cultural norms) behind it. Americans have a very different sense of privacy in that saying our names is one of the first things we do when we introduce ourselves. Americans are also different in that we do not invite people into our house that we do not personally know. The French are different and the authors make a good point of proving this assumption.
As for things I have heard about the French, I have heard that they are rude. However, after reading this chapter, I realize that although Americans and the French value our privacy, we have very different notions of what is private and what is not. The chapter does a thorough job of explaining why the French are the way they are when it comes to conversing with non-French people.
I also thought it was extremely interesting how the French do not give their name and occupation upon first meetings. I almost like that idea better though because then people you don't want to find you and add you on social media, won't.
From reading this chapter, Nadeu and Barlow outline how different the American and French cultures are when it comes to privacy and sharing of belongings. The first difference that stood out to me was that it is very uncommon to lead with your name and occupation when having a conversation with a stranger for the first time. In America, people usually lead with that to spark conversation and make assumptions about them for future talks. In France, they believe in keeping personal information private as they don’t like to reveal it. On the other side of the ball, the book describes how there are citizens who will let complete strangers in their house and often entertain them with music or even cook them food. Some people are even inclined to let the strangers take their car around to do chores. I could never imagine letting my own friends use my car in fear they crash or steal it. That just shows the level of trust and unity that stands within the culture of the French people. This all just refers to the difference in social norms between the two countries and how easy it is to generalize the French culture.
I was so surprised to read that it is acceptable in France to lend one's car to a stranger! I agree with you, I would hesitate to lend my car even to my closest friends, but this just serves to highlight the difference in cultural norms between the United States and France.
I AGREE! I think it is totally bizarre that people in France will allows strangers into their homes and allow them the ability to use their car, etc. Maybe is because people in France are more trustworthy and don't have negative motives or because the French can also trust to easily.
I was so surprised also reading this chapter a lot of things caught my eye about each others privacy
Coming from a culture that so highly values careers and occupations, it seems odd to those of us from the United States that asking for someone's name or occupation might be considered too personal and even possibly rude. The strongest influence on that divide is, I believe, the difference in how the idea of occupation is approached in the United States versus in many European countries. United States Americans commonly define themselves by their occupation, and much more emphasis is placed on the importance of work, to the point of encouraging an unhealthy imbalance in one’s life between “work time” and everything else. Many jobs require employees to be on call for hours after their scheduled work time is technically over, and these workers are expected to be reachable at all hours by cell phone or email. Therefore what one does for a living becomes a central component of one’s identity, and it is considered a relevant and important piece of information to include when making introductions. Many European countries, on the other hand, view occupation as something that is only done in order to support oneself, and not an important part of the personal identity. Therefore asking what someone does for a living, since it is not a defining characteristic of how they view themselves, might seem as odd as asking a total stranger out of context for some other odd personal detail, such as where they live or what kind of car they drive.
This might be a difficult concept for many Americans, as our culture encourages the breaking of every possible personal boundary and pulling all facets of personal life into the public sphere.
One of the biggest cultural differences between Americans and the French is their notion of privacy. I tend to be a private person by nature, but the French make my level of privacy look public. When first meeting someone in America, our first instinct is to ask someone’s name and occupation. The French do not take that same standpoint. Upon first meeting someone in France, it is not typical to ask for their name and occupation, as that information is “private” at first. I almost like this way better because in the age of social media, we find that when we first meet someone and take a liking to them, we have a tendency to add them on all social media right away. It’s all at the tip of our fingers and we have access to everyone’s public profile with the push of a button.
Another thing the French do that particularly stuck out to me was that they do not publicize the romantic affairs of celebrities and public figures. In America, this becomes such a huge deal and can have so many different connotations it that we have created television shows that discuss these matters and match single celebrities with their “soul mates” in television competitions. A large part of American popular culture revolves around who people are dating. The French believe in the complete opposite and do not let these things be known, probably because it is not important to them. We could also assume that it may have to do with France being a predominantly Catholic country, and the values of Catholicism being employed here, but then again, it may just be their norm.
I think it's very interesting as well when referring to celebrity culture. The privacy is non-existent here in the United States and everyone is like, "That's what they signed up for." And it totally is NOT. Privacy is universal.
After reading this chapter, the biggest difference that separates France from the United States is human's sense of privacy. In America, the first thing people know about you is your name. When your first introduced to a person it’s habitual for American’s to speak their name, job, possibly where they live. We share lots of personal information that could be harmful to us if it ended up in the wrong hands. French are the polar opposite. They do not give out a ton of information right after meeting, however, the French do put a lot of trust into strangers lending them their vehicles, their food, or even possibly their homes. Though both country value their privacy, they both show it in different ways. The fabrication and almost cult obsession of celebrities and their relationships is another thing that differ the countries as well. The current generation we live in can be very frightening with the amount of information they’re able to get their hands on. They know celebrities birthdays, addresses, who they are dating. In my opinion, it’s borderline stalking. Celebrities become these figures of inspiration for youth today, but they are no different than us. Maybe I am not quite well-versed in the French celebrity culture, but they do a good job of leaving the celebrities alone. I don’t hear a ton about them. Maybe that’s because I live in the United States, who knows? I honestly agree with the French on some of their customs of not disclosing personal information right off the bat. If it ends up in the wrong hands, who knows what could happen. However, I do believe it’s very interesting that giving a kiss on the cheek to a stranger, inviting them into your home, etc isn’t considered a breach of privacy, but giving your name out is.
this gave me chills cause when you read this you actually have to think of our privacy and theirs
After reading the chapter I've came down to that the real difference from France and the United States is that are humans sense of privacy is different. While I was reading I discovered that introduce people differently. The French don't give that information out once meeting someone but us in the US is different we can give out a lot of information. but I can't really compare cause I haven't been around their privacy before.