Au Contraire: Figuring out the French by Gilles Asselin, Ruth Mastron

By Gilles Asselin, Ruth Mastron

Whilst Coca-Cola entered the French industry with a hard-core bottom-line administration variety, they have been met with boycotts in cafes and supermarkets. on the release of Euro Disney in Paris, Mickey Mouse was once greeted by way of indignant protestors hurling tomatoes and eggs. As a tradition, the French are fiercely self sustaining but romantic, conservative but avant-garde, rational but emotional.Written for an individual drawn to or interacting with the French, Au Contraire!: knowing the French finds the often-invisible cultural forces that govern habit. Gilles Asselin and Ruth Mastron draw upon their very own reviews as specialists and running shoes, in addition to that of expatriate scholars and pros, to supply the easiest and most precious research and suggestion on French-American intercultural family. Going past the most obvious, this bilingual and bicultural writer workforce explores what lies in the back of what we see: the assumptions, attitudes, styles of proposal and ideology that make the French so.French.In a world global packed with multinational mergers and overseas partnerships, Au Contraire! offers context and point of view on what occurs whilst american citizens and the French come jointly at paintings, at domestic, and in any social atmosphere, pertaining to concerns like schooling, play, friendship, romance and politics. They spotlight the dynamics of operating and coping with around the French and American cultural divide with an in-depth case examine of ways pharmaceutical vast Rhone-Poulenc Rorer overcame demanding situations by means of fostering cross-cultural teamwork. With a brief and important advisor to social etiquette directions for managers operating within the usa and in France, Au Contraire! presents serious instruments to strengthen inventive and acceptable responses to any state of affairs, in keeping with a deep knowing of the original dynamics of those cultures.

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There is nothing vague about the notion of the hexagon in the French mentality, however, where it not only sums up the physical shape of the land but also shapes French culture. In official documents and tourist information pamphlets, an actual geometric hexagon often serves as a visual shorthand for France, and summaries of domestic news in the media are headlined simply L’Hexagone. The clarity and precision of geometric borders are reassuring for the French, giving them a firm sense of where they stand, figuratively as well as literally.

French people are experts at creating islands of psychological privacy in crowded public areas as well as in small apartments. This desire to keep one’s personal affairs private means that two people carrying on a conversation in the métro, for example, can barely be overheard by someone strap-hanging above them. Americans in the same situation see nothing unusual about carrying on a conversation at a greater volume or even from some distance apart. 3 The Weight of the Past Past, Present, Future In the United States history is a source of pride, but it tends to be conceived of as preface: events that happened in order to make possible the present and, above all, the future.

Are slaves to a money culture that is no culture. • believe that the American way is the only way. • act first, then think; shoot from the hip. • are superficial. • need to be the first everywhere and are cultural imperialists. • believe in the “change is best” policy. • are extravagant and exaggerate grossly. • give more importance to glitter and hype than to substance. • are obsessed with time. Some of these stereotypes are obviously mirror images. For the French, Americans are too time-conscious, while Americans find that the French are not time-conscious enough.

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