United States


America, Obama, influencing

arrogant, luxury, advanced

Big, powerful, rich, arrogant

country, south, America

diverse, accepting, capitalist

diverse, inflation, rich, Wall Street

Diverse, Powerful, Democratic Republic

eagle, freedom, flag

fat, silly

Football, Elections, Open

free, different, recession

freedom, diversity, opportunity

glamorous, big, powerful


Home, comfortable, 4th of July

home, diverse, liberty

home, large, democracy, America

home, large, greedy

home, red, blue


MIT, Obama, Immigration, Cheerleading

states, English, energetic

technology, democracy, capitalism, American

technology, hollywood, freedom

Technology, Job Opportunities, hip hop music

technology, opportunity, civil rights

USA, America, the states, liberal

émigration, liberté, puissance

Coca-cola, Hollywood, Microsoft

démesuré, moderne, NYC

dollar, mac donalds, puissance

dollar, Obama, New York, Capitalisme

Dollar, pouvoir, cheeseburger

Film, microsoft, mcdonald, grand

grand, gros, basket, Californie

gros, égoiste, pouvoir, technologie

Hamburgers, coca-cola, mondialisation

hollywood, impérialisme, rambo

innovation, facilité, le paraître

Irak, hamburger, multinationale,
Georges W Bush

liberté, argent, dynamisme

Matérialiste, mondialisation, multinational

Multi-nationales, matérialisme, nombrilisme, culture

Obama, excès, gigantisme

patriotisme, armes à feu, opportunités, Mac Donald

Puissance, égocentrique, hamburger, coca cola

Puissance, richesse, arrogance, New York


It was interesting for me to see that the French students mainly associated the US with many brand names (McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Microsoft), while the American students did not have this association at all.  In general, the American students were much more positive about their home country than the French students, which would be expected.  It was also interesting to see that someone listed "Rambo", because those movies havent been out since the 1980s, so there are either some very old students or the French are very late in catching up with American films.

Une particularité française que l'on appelle l'humour semble avoir du mal à s'exporter outre-atlantique...C'est bien dommage.

To Baris

Personnellement, je ne tire pas trop de conclusion, ni d'interprétation (hatives).

Je m'arrête à :

Etats Unis = puissance (donc contestée)

France = savoir vivre.

Après pour moi, un mot mis par une personne et te paraissant hors sujet ne veut rien dire ! On peut trouver des mots un peu hors sujet dans tous les questionnaires..

D'ailleurs, rambo est associé au cliché américain (même si il dure depuis 30 ans : c'est encore pire !). Il représente la puissance, les armes, l'interventionnisme...parfois un peu aveugle !

Sans vouloir envenimer les choses, tu as bien lancé le débat Baris !


I also noticed that the American students' responses were generally more positive than the responses from the French students. Though the American students are aware of the negative aspects of the United States, we are more focused on the ideals our country was founded on. The French students' answers make it obvious that the United States is not representing its core values very well. 

I can tell that the French students think the United States has a lot of faults (and we do). Despite these faults, do you like the United States? Are we fat but likable? 

I agree with Lauren. The americans view the positive aspects on which America was founded on such as rights, freedom and diversity. Americans also see a lot of opportunity for growth both job-wise and within the technology sector in the United States.


The French students have a slightly more negative view of the United States. They also associated the word power or "puissance" with the United States. Is this because of the difference in the role of the United States versus France in this global world?

I found that while the American students view the United States more positively, the French students also had plenty of positive things to say about the United States.  The Americans focused more on things valued in our society such as home, diversity, freedom, technology, etc., while the French spoke about their perception of our country.  This included many corporations and landmarks which are famous within our country and within the world.  It is also how the world views us I believe.  I believe this is typical when comparing any thought patterns of people from different countries. I found the Rambo comment to be very funny because I can see how Sylvester Stallone can be seen as one of the many faces of America.

Personally, not being American, I feel I have a similar view point as the French. Before coming to the US, and even afterwards, I would think of hambergers, large servings - and all the other food and health related issues - companies lke Google, Microsoft and Wall Street.

I understand why many Americans associate the word freedom and rights but I would also understand why the French would not associate the words. Many countries would have at some point an issue of liberation and freedom. In the US, due to the diversity in ethnic groups, the problems of rights and justice would have been more often raised.

To me, though, such aspects are somewhat universal. France had their own revolution and I'm pretty sure the French also have a strong sense of freedom, liberty, and human rights. But they wouldn't think of it as something that pertains to just their country.

For me, being Korean, I also think those values are somewhat universal although I do admit the US had a good representative history. Korea also had our own issue of liberating from the Japanese and facing North Korea, we are also questioned about the values of human rights and justice.

So, I think, americans have a strong belief that freedom and liberty is something that represents their country - and to some extent its true - but for the French and perhaps to many other foreigners out there, it's not much of a big deal.

I noticed that a lot of the words on the French side had to do with American brand names, such as McDonalds and Microsoft. How much is your view of the United States is affected by large corporations and their deeds, and does it affect it for better or worse? What do you guys think of large corporations? Is it a love-hate relationship (you can't stand that McDonald is a lot capitalist monopoly, but you can't stand to not eat it)? Also, about what fraction of the French would like to come live in the United States, and what are the major reasons? I can tell you that for many Americans, France is seen as the ultimate place to live, largely because we have a view that the French are highly sophisticated and cultured.

Like Yotam, I noticed that the French side noted a lot of corporations. In addition to this, there were also a number of "California" and "Hollywood" responses. How present is American film in France? I feel that in the US, we don't have that much knowledge of the film industries of other countries, and only hear about the most well-known foreign films. Do most/all American films get shown in France? Are there noticeable differences between French and American films?

Like everyone, I noticed that the French used proper nouns for everything - whether it be food (cocoa-cola, mcdonalds), corporations(microsoft), industry (hollywood), or places (NYC).

There seemed to be less of a generalization of America, but more things that are just associated with the culture of stereotypical America. Is it because of the presence and marketing of these brands in France?

I think it is common for people to base their associations of something they are not familiar with what they see in the media (news or advertisements).  I think in the US, France is glamorized because Paris is known as the city of love, there are movies and shows emphasize the romantic aspects of the country, and the only other thing we see are food items (cheeses, wine, champagne).  Travel agencies also emphasize the good aspects because they want people to travel.  It seems like in France, much of what is opined is based on advertising from large american companies, movies produced in the US, and undoubtedly how local media portrays the US in the news (which may not have been positive while Bush was in office). 

Pour répondre à Lauren, il y a énormément de films américains au cinéma en France. Il y a même plus de films américains à l'affiche que de films français. Même à la télé il y a énormément de séries américaines. De façon générale la culture américaine est très présente en France. Mais je ne pense pas pour autant que tout les films qui sortent aux Etats Unis finissent par sortir en France. Les différences entre le cinéma français et le cinéma américain sont nombreuses: déjà les films américains qui sortent en France sont souvent des grosses productions (avec pleins d'effets spéciaux, ou avec des acteurs connus, bref des films qui coutent chère et qui sont généralement très attendus, par exemple "Harry Potter"), ce qui n'est jamais le cas en France car les budgets sont beaucoup plus petits. Beaucoup de film français sont des comédies, ou des drames qui racontent des histoires très proches des gens, j'entends par là des histoires plus personnelles. Par exemple un "Die Hard" made in France risque peu de voir le jour, bien que ce genre de film soit populaire ici aussi (moi j'adore Die Hard par exemple, sauf le 4 là faut pas abuser).

Je suis d'accord avec Baris sur le fait que l'image que vous avez de la France est sûrement très arrangée par les médias.  Le quotidien des français est sûrement très loin de l'idée que vous pouvez vous faire. Nous avons l'impression d'en savoir plus sur la vie quotidienne américaine que vous vous en savez de la notre parce que beaucoup de medias nous en montrent une image, bien qu'elle soit peut-être fausse.

Pour Akansha: si nous associons souvent nos idées avec des noms de marques c'est qu'ils symbolisent beaucoup de choses. Par exemple Mc Donald symbolise la profusion de fast food, une nourriture qui n'est pas saine, la mondialisation,... Ou du moins c'est come ça que moi je le ressens.