Skip to main content

Cultural stereotypes or national character?

Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, professor of psychology | May 2, 2012

We have all heard vacationers come back from an exotic locale with tales of how wonderful the locals are. Often, these exclamations characterize, unhesitatingly, an entire nation: “Everyone is sooo nice in Mexico!” Or, “I just love the Bahamas, the locals are so happy and carefree!” It can be hard to argue against these impressions, particularly since the people … Continue reading »

Cheerful Yanks?

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | October 28, 2011

In the 20th century a common stereotype of Americans was that they were a cheerful lot – perhaps too booming cheerful for Europeans who had to endure “have-a-nice-day!” tourists. An interesting article by a scholar of Bulgarian origin identifies a particular period in American history when “good cheer” first became an important value here, displacing … Continue reading »