Americans seem to be obsessed with...

Les Français semblent être obsédés par...


celebrity gossip.

establishing their superiority, advancing forward using technology, the capitalist model of society


food and American football...

food, baseball, money

free stuff, sex, and immorality.

getting rich, having careers, working and BUYING..also relationships (boy, girl) definitely, getting drunk on friday nights (College students), sales, tv..

many things that other people are also obsessed with; but uniquely, they are convicted in their own capacity to determine the course of their own lives. Americans have much to be proud of, but sometimes this quality overripens into veiled evangelicalism.

materialistic items, making many friends, and getting money.

money and food.

money and food.

money and material possesions.

money and privacy

money, appearance, and themselves

money, power, foreign policy

money, power, sex, drugs, democracy, freedom

more is better

wealth and appeances.

wealth, sex, power, and fame.


ce qui ne va pas (se plaindre), l'immigration

l'image qu'ils reflètent aux autres.


la bienscéance, les femmes, le poids

la compétition, l'entraide

la France, la cuisine, la réussite sociale, la domination américaine

la lecture des journaux, des livres et aussi par les discussions aux petits restaurants de rues.

la resquille, l'escroquerie à la petite semaine.

le négationisme

le racisme et la protection sur tout comme les Américains!!

le respect et l'éthique

le sexe, la réussite, la famille, l'amour

le temps, l'argent des autres, leur Histoire

le travail

le vin, leur sécurité et l'image qu'ils reflètent dans le monde.

les heures de travail (veulent partir le plus vite possible)

les vacances, l'argent des autres

leur futur

leurs avantages sociaux, la crainte de l'avenir et de tout changement


The Americans said money, while some of the French said "others' money." Do you think that the French are more willing to admit their jealousy of others for their possessions, or are the Americans more optimistic about being able to make a lot of money? I think Americans are more obsessed with the things they think will give them happiness/satsifaction, while the French are more obsessed with their culture, history, etc.

On the American side, the responses are more materialistic, involving money, whereas your responses covered a broader range of topics from the future to racism to immigration. It seems like we chose things that can be seen as stereotypical American (such as money, appearence, power) whereas you seemed to have more personal, social views, things that couldn't be considered stereotypical French. Of course, the obsessions you mentioned exist here as well, we just didn't mention them. Do your obsessions agree with what the French would consider stereotypical obsessions, or were your responses more on the personal level?

I agree with Shriddha, and I'm curious to know if immigration in particular is a steriotypical concern in France, as well as a personal one. As Shriddha mentioned, there were quite a number of responses on the french side relating to politics. I felt that the americans seemed almost barbaric in comparison, with "money/wealth" appearing in almost every response.

I looked up the dictionary and found the literal meaning for escroquerie, but I'm not sure what "l'escroquerie à la petite semaine" means. Is it some kind of slang, or something that loosely translates to "flirting"?

I'm curious to know what was meant by "la domination americaine." Does that refer to the tendency of our president to invade countries with little reason? Or does it refer to the fact that America's influence has spread across much of the world in terms of economy, culture, industry, etc? Or maybe it refers to something completely different. What do you guys think?

I feel that both the French and Americans are concerned about the image they present to others, only that Americans tend to state and present it in a very blunt manner (ie. money) and the French take the roundabout way of expressing the same thing. In the end, the ultimate purpose of the mentioned material wealth is to act as a measure for comparison, just as having the mentality of "the money of others" is to effectively compare one's own state with those of the people. I feel, however, that the french are not as prone to showing off as much as the americans are.

I think the America's main obsessions (money and power) are a product of American capitalism. I don't know what to say about America's obsession with food.

I find it very interesting to see the recurring theme of "image" on your side. Many of you put down words or phrases which suggest a great importance put on how you are viewed by others in society. Is this something that is prevalent in France? In America, we have commercials with motos such as "Image is Everything" (Andre Agassi's tv ad for Cannon). How about France?

It's interesting that the French mentioned immigration, as the United States has recently been trying to resolve our issue with immigration, particularly the Mexican border. How has France tried to resolve its immigration problems? Do you have any opinions or suggestions for ours?

Something that surprised me was the use of the words immigration and racism. I was wondering if you guys meant that in a negativ way? It is just strange to me to hear these words from you because you mentioned before that you cherish the European Union so much and that maybe one day it will connect all of the European countries. SHouldn't this also mean that you are willing to accept and respect people from other countries in France?

Americans are raised to know that ambition and success are good. Knowing no more, most are left to correlate success on their own. The mapping to money is natural. But not particularly prescient.

I prefer a more nuanced set of goals, a happiness more influenced by intangibles. Perhaps i prefer the French outlook to happiness?

Hmmm. I wonder why it is so different that Americans and French gave such divergent responses in their obsessions. For Americans, it is obvious that things are centered around money, money, money, power and food. These things are all related to power. Money buys you power and food. This gives me the opinion that Americans are hedonists while the French are much more troubled in their obsessions. They are more about troubles, rather than selfish gains. The word money does arise, but it is "l'argent d'autres." Immigration, fraud, etc are prominant. Why is that French are obsessed with troubles? Also, I agree with Yuliya, doesn't the EU promote tolerance, or does that only promotes tolerances towards white people?

Hi, I am curious to know what the term le négationisme refers to. Are you refering to certain political thoughts that deny certain historical events, or am I completely wrong. Also why or how are the French conerned with this?

pour répondre à Aline, je ne sais pas si notre méthode de lutte contre l'immigration clandestine est bon car elle reste floue à mes yeux mais en tout cas je ne voudrais pas voir un mur se construire sur nos frontières comme ce fût les cas à Berlin et comme ça va être le cas aux Etats-Unis. A l'époque le mur de Berlin fût nommé "le mur de la honte"....

(petite correction) pour répondre à Aline, je ne sais pas si notre méthode de lutte contre l'immigration clandestine est bonne car elle reste floue à mes yeux mais en tout cas je ne voudrais pas voir un mur se construire sur nos frontières comme ce fût les cas à Berlin et comme ça va être le cas aux Etats-Unis. A l'époque le mur de Berlin fût nommé "le mur de la honte"....

En réponse à Aline, ta remarque sur l’immigration et notamment l’immigration mexicaine pour les Etats-Unis m’a beaucoup intéressé. Je passe le problème de mur qui a été traité par Vincent, et j’arrive sur ce que j’ai vu hier soir à la télé française. J’ai donc vu un site Web texan est en phase de test. Le but de ce site est d’aider les gardes frontières en dénonçant de l’activité (immigration mexicaine) sur la frontière, le tout derrière son pc en surveillant des webcams installées sur la frontière, le site s’appelle pour info. Connaissez-vous ce site ? Comment réagissez-vous, que vous inspire t’il ?
Perso, je pense que c’est quelques choses d’inimaginable en France, que cela s’apparente à de la délation, ce n’est clairement pas un état d’esprit français.

Pour répondre à Hiba, je ne suis pas la personne qui a employé le terme « négationniste » et je ne sais pas ce que cette personne a voulu dire par là. Ceci dit, tu as raison, cela signifie la non reconnaissance de fait historique.
En premier lieu vient la Shoah, mais cela peut s’appliquer à d’autre événement, récemment, il y a eu un débat en France sur le génocide arménien, l’assemblé a voté un loi punissant le négationnisme sur ce sujet.

To Aurelien Roux, I am not familiar with the historical event of the Shoah? Could you explain it a little? Also, I am not familiar with the website, but it does seem like something Americans would do. The United States problem with illegal Mexican immigration has always existed for as long as I have lived, and it's a very complex issue that has a lot of economic repercussions. Although the United States discourages the illegal immigration from Mexico, at the same time, we're enormously dependent on the illegal workers. They make up a signifcant portion of the United States' economic production, and it would be impossible to try to remove them because they serve as such a large benefit.

Thank you Aurelien for answering my question :) That's very interesting. I wonder if this French law has anything to do with the Armenian population in France or its just a humanitarian reaction against such atrocities, or perhaps both. Even though Syria, my home contry, has a huge Armenian population, most of which are refugees after the genocide, our government never officially recognized the genocide. Anyway, I think this subject is still somewhat controvertial, but I find it interesting how involved French seem to be in politics outside France which may not directly concern the French. Do you think that's ture?

Tiffany, la Shoah fait référence à l'extermination des juifs par les nazis durant la seconde guerre mondiale. Donc le négationnisme est le fait de nier cette extermination.

Hiba, la réaction de la France n'est pas isolé en Europe concernant le génocide arménien, d'autre pays (je ne sais plus lesquels) ont également légiféré sur ce point. La France (sa justice) défend en générale les minorités oppressées. La France a également une histoire particulière avec le moyen orient, pendant de nombreuses années, ces terres ont été des protectorats français. La France possède donc des liens importants avec les habitants de ces pays, et donc avec les arméniens.
En France, il n'y a pas de controverse sur le génocide, mais plutôt sur le fait de légiférer sur les faits historiques. Est-ce que la loi doit écrire l'Histoire? Pour ma part, je ne pense pas, c'est le travail des historiens, qu'en penses-tu?

Wow, I've never heard of a webcam for the border. It would be great for finding weaknesses in defense, but I wonder how they'd catch anyone from the camera because America such a big country, literally. I think that's a source of alot of our problems. The country is so vast, that it's hard to make anything work cohesively.

Thank you Aurelien for your response. :) I am sorry to respond to you so late, but I just didn't notice your comment. I think the questions you ask is very interesting. I agree with you that historians should be the ones to write history. They should investigate and research in order to determine as accurately as possible what happened. But I think often times the writing of history is strongly tied to current politics. Everyone wants history to be on their side. Usually its the most politically powerful, the western governments that have the most influence on the writing of history. Don't you notice for example how "world history" is actually european history. Since european governments have been the most powerful across history, they wrote most of world history until the 20th century focused on themselves. I think i have diverged al little from the topic :) But going back to the Armenian genoicde its difficult to actually document such an event in history when certain governmnets or political figures deny it, and thus it might cause political tensions. So again politics is interefering. Ideally, it should be what you said: the work of historians only. but today, when you think about it, all sciences are heavily tied to politics. Everyone needs the government's support and funding. The world would be a much better place if science and research aims only to advance human wellbeing and knowledge, rather than certain political or economical agendas. What do you think about that, in relation to the French government. I think the European governments today, do much more than the American government to advance pure science and research not aimed towards certain political or economical goals for their country. What do you say?