Americans seem to be obsessed with ...

Les Américains semblent être obsédés par ...

celebrities, money, fake breasts, the private lives of politicians, and dieting.

Celebrities, pop culture, and political affairs.

food, clothes, and celebrities.


football, food, and work.

junk food.

money and fame

money and owning all they can afford, and sometimes even things they can't afford.


fitting in,

money, celebrities, quantity over quality

money, technology, and fame.

money, the economy, success


spending money on luxuries.

sports, entertainment, money.


trying to make more money and be more successful, but without working too hard.

l'apparence, le pouvoir, la domination

les armes,
la domination

l'argent, la politique.

l'argent, la réussite

l'argent, le profit, le pouvoir.

l'argent, les affaires, l'Iraq.

l'élection de leur nouveau président

la nourriture et l'argent.

la nourriture, la guerre, la démocratie.

la nourriture, le multimédia: jeux video, informatique, téLévision..., catch, boxe, football américain

la puissance et l'argent

la puissance, la richesse et les terroristes

le fast food et le cinéma

le mac do, le football, le basket

le pouvoir, le travail et leur personne.

le travail, l'argent

les armes, leur puissance mondiale, eux-mêmes.

les fast-food, le super bowl

les grosses voitures

leur puissance dans le monde



Les mêmes mot reviennent des deux cotés, c'est amusant. Nous avons une image de vous qui ne diffère pas de celle que vous avez de vous même, comme une obsession de l'argent ou de la nourriture. Cependant, nous estimons que vous êtes aussi obseder par le pouvoir et ce mot n'apparait pas de votre côté. Qu'en pensez vous ? a votre avis pourquoi les gens ont ils cette opinion sur vous ?

Americans are definitely obsessed with power. Most of our motivation in the world is to move up in the workplace, obtain better leadership positions, and to reach a position of supervision. After all, it makes sense. Who wouldn't want to be in a position of leadership instead of having to blindly follow the directions of their boss? With more power, you have more independence and feel more worthy doing the work that you do. Even in personal relationships, particularly with men, there is often a power-struggle to find out who will be the "leaders" of the group. Perhaps this is more present in adolescence, but nevertheless, many people need to exhert their "power" in an attempt to cover up their insecurities.

I noticed that no French responses said that Americans were obsessed with celebritites, gossip, television, fake breasts or any other extremely superficial things. I do think that this obsession is extremely evident in American pop culture. Were you trying to be polite in your responses or do the French not view Americans as obsessed with our gossip-based pop culture?

Along with Kasey's observation about pop culture, I also noticed some French responses regarding politics.  I'm curious as to if you had this impression of Americans being obsessed with politics before our recent presidential electiion?

In general, I find that most Americans are very apathetic about politics in general.  In the US, we have fairly low voter turnout.  In recent years, 50-60% of eligable voters have voted in Presidential elections and 35-40% have voted in non-Presidential federal elections.  These numbers to me seem to be very low, especially when compared to voter turnout in other countries.

Like Sidra said, Americans are quite apathetic about politics. I think that if Americans are ever obsessed with politics, the obsession is more about the person running for office than about what they actually stand for. For example, one person on the French side mentioned Barack Obama, and it's true that leading up to the election, he had an almost celebrity status. While I'm sure many people embraced him for his vision and his ideals, I think a lot of his popularity was related to the idea of him.


Sadly, it's often the case that we only become aware of politicians when they're exposed for some illegal/immoral/unethical act. In general, Americans seems to scrutinize the private lives of politicians (and celebrities, for that matter) far more than the French do. From my understanding, the French press largely don't expose the private lives of French leaders. For example, former President Mitterrand had a second family even while he was in office, but it wasn't publicly known or discussed. Do you think that with the marriage of President Sarkozy to Carla Bruni, the French press have begun to adopt a more American obsession with the private lives of noted figures?

Pour répondre a kasey, il est vrai que les Etats Unis c'est aussi beaucoup de stars, de "people', et bien de superficialité.. Cependant je pense que ce n'est pas la première chose a laquelle on pense lorsque l'on nous dit "Etats Unis". On pense d'abord a la puissance, l'argent, mais aussi la nourriture: hamburger, coca cola, Macdo

Pour ce qui est de la politique, nos réponses concernant Barack Obama sont du fait de la récente élection et de l'enjeu qu'il représente. Pourquoi vous intéressez vous si peu à la politique ?

En France on essaye de protéger la vie privé des personnes politques. Cependant cela a évolué surtout depuis Sarkozi. En effet, il aime particulièrement dévoiler des facettes de sa vie privée. Carla étant une personne du "show business" puisqu'elle a été mannequin puis chanteuse on plus facilement parler de leur couple, ou de leur vie en générale. Les gens s'interessent-ils plus à la vie privée des hommes politiques qu'a la politique elle-même ?

I think that many Americans find politics boring. By no means is this true for everyone. I know many people who are obsessed with every single political decision. However, aside from big exciting events such as the Presidential Election, a large majority of people find the policymaking to be boring- mostly because they don't understand it.

It is true that Americans are often more obsessed with the "celebrity" side of the politician than the actual policies that they stand for. I would also say that most people just follow the opinions of their friends and don't take the time to understand the big issues- tgey either repeat the ideas of their family or friends. Do you have trouble with people blindly follwoing political opinions of theiir firends?

Expanding on Kasey's comment a little, I would like to point out that it seems to me Americans repeat ideas not only from their friends and family, but also (and most importantly) from mass media. Is this a similar problem in France? Do people in general tend to research a topic and form an educated opinion before sharing it with others?

I think its funny how much our media is filled with scandals of celebrities and politicians.  Does this not interest the french much?

Going further with Kasey's explanation of Americans finding politics boring, I think that part of the reason this is true may be that a lot of policy-making seems quite remote from our daily lives.  In theory, we know that most policies will affect us indirectly if not directly, but it's hard to pay a lot of attention to political events that seem so distant (at least for me).  Do you find that this is the case at all?  Or is there generally a greater interest in these issues in France?

Also, going back to the survey, is the view of obsession with money necessarily negative?  Is it an obsession with having money, spending money, earning money, showing money, or some combination of different things?

I think another reason that Americans aren't very interested in politics is because we, the public, are very detached from the day-to-day decision making that happens.  Often times, mass media doesn't report on what Congress is deliberating on unless it is a big, controversal bill or hearing.

How well educated do you think the French public is about the actions of the government?  Does you media closely cover what is happening in the government?

Les choses ont beaucoup évoluées en politique depuis l'élection de notre président. En effet je ne pense pas que la politique soit un sujet passionnant  les français comme c'est le cas aussi pour vous. Mais Sarkozy est très médiatiser, beaucoup plus que Chirac, notre ancien président. Les hommes politiques français sont en quelques sorte devenu des "peoples", leur vie privée est de plus en plus médiatisée. De plus, les journaux télévisés nous informent de beaucoup des décisions du gouvernement.

Nous sommes très entourés par la politique à causes des médias de toutes sortes. La politique est on peut dire "à la mode" en France et je pense que c'est pour ça que nous la suivont beaucoup.

Pour répondre à Yun-Han Huang, en France les personnes qui recherchent à tous pris le profit et l'argent au détriment des autres et très mal vu. En ce moment par exemple on parle beaucoup de l'affaire Madoff. Est ce que cette affaire fait aussi scandale chez vous ?