An Analysis of the Topic of the Individualism in an American Cultural Values and the Essay the Young, the Rich and the Famous by Poranee Natadecha-Sponsel

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Updated: Nov 20, 2022
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In an essay entitled “The Young, the rich, and the famous: Individualism. As an American cultural value,” Poranee Natadecha-Sponsel. The author, wrote about the differences she noticed between American culture and Thai culture. Especially pertaining to relationships and family. She dissected the ways that children from both countries grow up and noted that American children are often given their own bedroom early in life that remains exclusively theirs until they move out. Thai children, on the other hand, usually sleep with their parents for at least a couple of years before sharing a room with siblings of the same sex until the end of high school if not later. She went on to explain that American college students tend to leave home in a display of independence whereas Thai students continue to accept support from their families until after college. According to Natadecha-Sponsel, this is a direct result of the way that American children are often encouraged to pursue wealth and popularity while Thai children are encouraged more to care for their family. She continued to explain that this is a reason why there are certain topics, such as finances, health, and personal relationships, that many Americans consider very private and do not often like to talk about except for with very close friends. Thai people, however, talk about these topics as part of normal, everyday conversations.

Natadecha-Sponsel wrote that when Americans greet each other. It is merely a routine engaged out of politeness and habit. They always ask the same questions and often give the same answers. She noticed that Thai people put more thought into their answers to conversational questions. And give a lot of details because they care to know about each other’s lives. Natadecha- Sponsel’s conclusion was that Americans are essentially trained to be withdrawn and even sometimes fake. She insisted that all this is a direct result of the way American children are raised, and she backed it up by showing the differences in the way Thai children are raised and how differently they act as adults. I agree with Natadecha-Sponsel that Americans are taught to value things like independence, wealth and popularity, but I disagree that we are really as closed off as she believes.

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The main reason why Americans are taught to value independence is because that is what the nation of America is based on. People came to America to be independent from England, so the values accompanying that event have been passed down through the generations since then. Thailand’s history is very different from America’s, so the country has thoroughly different traditions, values, and ways of life. In addition, independence isn’t the only thing laced into the heart of America; the other edge of that sword is freedom. America was established so that people could be free to choose to worship God, so the value of choice is also evident in American society. Americans aren’t just taught to be independent of everyone else forever; they’re taught to build independence so that they can freely choose who to spend their time with and who to tell the most important things to.

Natadecha-Sponsel is definitely correct when she describes how differently Americans and Thai children are raised, but I think she’s missing the point that American values surround and support freedom of choice. She seems to believe that Americans pursue only independence so that they can move out as soon as possible and become as economically successful as possible. It seems this way to her because she is used to living in a society where interdependence within family is valued above most else. Independence is valued but is only the beginning; freedom is the true heart of America.

An Analysis of the Topic of the Individualism in an American Cultural Values and the Essay the Young, the Rich and the Famous by Poranee Natadecha-Sponsel essay

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An Analysis of the Topic of the Individualism in an American Cultural Values and the Essay The Young, the Rich and the Famous by Poranee Natadecha-Sponsel. (2022, Nov 20). Retrieved from