bank, work
banks, stocks, buying
cash, clothes, buy
dollar bills, coins
dollar, green
dollar, lottery
dollars, buy, rich
financial, bursar bills, Cambridge Trust
food, clothing, housing
green, bills, wealth
green, George Washington, numbers
green, happy, rich
job, shopping
problem, shopping, fun
rich, gold
rich, green, buy
savings, corruption, inflation
security, comfort
society, business, internet
Washington's head, green
wealth, dollars, credit, bank, save
wealth, means
wealth, power, happiness

achat, dépenser
banque; parents; travail
billet, pièces, pouvoir
Capitalisme, Libéralisme, Nécessité

déficit, salaires
emploi, dipenser
facilité, problèmes
gagner, perdre
la voiture de sport, un bijou
liberté, esclavage
monnaie, euro, bourse
moyen; convention
nécessaire, pouvoir

pouvoir, Euro, liquide
pouvoir, achat,
revenu, richesse
riche, radin, nerf des relations humaines, famine

salaire, million
sale, inégalité, héritage
travail, acheter
utile, manger


Salut! J'ai comparé les réponses sur le theme Money/Argent. J'ai pu remarqué que les Américains étaient plus matérialistes (dollar, green reviennent souvent), alors que les Français souligenent plus ce qu'on peut faire avec l'argent. De plus les Américains ne parlent de l'argent qu'en termes positifs alors que les Français abordent aussi les côtés négatifs. Il me semble également que les Américains sont tres attachés a leur propre monnaie, alors que nous avons abordé le sujet argent en général et non en fonction d'une nation. Les Américains ont moins de complexes par rapport a l'argent et c'est meme un moyen d'accéder au bonheur. Au contraire en France, c'est encore un sujet tabou. C'est plus une nécessité, on ne s'en vante pas. Désolé pour les accents, c'est le clavier qui déconne. N'hésitez pas a réagir. Maud

Bonjour je pense que cette notion divergente de l'argent entre les étudiants US et les français vient de racines religieuses. En effet selon la religion catholique qui est le fondement de notre culture, l'argent est sale, car il est écrit " heureux les pauvres et les simples d'esprit, le royaume de Dieu leur appartient"ou " Il est plus facile à un chameau de passer par le chat d'une aiguille qu'à un commerçant d'entrer au royaume de Dieu" etc.... Or dans la culture protestante et puritaine, je crois savoir que l'argent et la réussite sont la preuve que Dieu vous aime et vous soutient? Donc c'est plutôt positif.

The responses were similar in some ways, but I noticed that the Americans look at money more materialistically. They thought of "green" and "dollar" many times. The French, on the other hand seem to think of the realistic results of money in life. I would like to ask the French students exactly what kind of role money plays in their lives so I can understand better how their responses relate to their lifestyle.

After looking through the list of associations for money, I was left with the impression that Americains have a rather neutral view of money, using words like, "green" and "dollars" for literal translations. The French responses seems quite varied, using things as negative as "corruption" and as positive as "gagner". Is the general feeling from the French students that money is viewed quite differently from person to person?

I think that the Americans tend to see money idealistically and optimistically, while the French see it more realistically, even pesimistically. The Americans. For example, associate money with clothes, fun, happiness, and being rich. When Americans think of money, they tend to think of all the good things they can do with it, all the good things money can buy. Though some of the French responses were similar, others associated "argent" with "corruption", "inegalite". This is what realistically happens a lot of the time, due to differences in wealth and such.

hey Paulette, i agree with your view to a certain extent. Have you read the views of Max Weber, a German socio-economist, "The Protestant Ethic and the spirit of Capitalism". Based on similar ideas that you have, on how religion effects the concept of material gain, Weber argues that capitalism formed and evolved as a result of extensions and interpretations of certain important protestant beliefs.

was just curious- do you know the proportions of French belonging to the different religions ? how important a role does religion play in present day France ?

I think it's VERY amusing to note that the MIT responses: "green" and "dollar" have the same number of recurrences (4 responses each). "Green" is not even a REAL word for money nor is it a type of currency, yet it's thought of in the same vein as the Dollar. This shows how deeply slangs and colloquial language are embedded in the American Culture. Personally, anytime I hear the word "green," I think of vegetables more than I imagine the dollar!

Hi everyone, I think it may be true to some extent that Americans are "more materialistic." That could explain the differences in our responses. I think that another contributing factor is something quite different: simply the way the word "money" is used in our language. I tend to think of "money" as "cash;" what I carry around in my pocket, the exact amount I have at the bank. For me it's just the means for what I need to buy or want to buy. I simply don't make enough money right now to even think of it as anything other than what will pay my bills. If I made more money I would probably start calling my "money" something else: "my (financial) assets," whatever rich people say when they talk about their money.


I totally agree with Regina. I don't think religion has anything to do with the American response to "money". I think the optimistic responses result from the way people think about money here, especially at a place like MIT. Students at MIT have seen their peers graduate and many of them have made a lot of money. So when we see responses such as "rich" and "cash", I think it implies that they hope that one day they become rich and have lots of cash like many of the MIT alumni.

Money is viewed as a sign of success in the US. This country was in part founded by people who left Europe to seek their fortunes in a new land. It has ever since been called a "land of opportunity." Most people in the US still believe that they (or their children, if they are already old) can become rich. Money here is a measure of success.

While all people here tend to view it as a desired object, the reactions to people with money differ from person to person. Some people have great respect for people with money. The Self-Made Millionaire is especially respected in America, and is a symbol of how hard work leads to success. Others resent those who have more than them, using a littany of slang terms (snob, princess) to refer to the upper classes. Still, even these people tend to have dreams of joining the rich themselves. This is one reason this country is so capitalist and will resist many government-funded programs. We all believe that we can in fact be rich, and thus sometimes resist efforts to support those who do not realize this American Dream. Hard work can make us all millionaires in the USA.

A question out of curiousity, how much percent of your salary goes in income taxes? Do you have minimum wage? If you do, how much is it in terms of dollars?

Hi Ryan! Pour répondre à tes questions: Le salaire minimum français, le SMIC, est de 42,02 FF l'heure brut, soit 6373 FF (=873$) par mois si tu travailles 35 heures. On enlève 20% pour avoir le salaire net. Ces cotisations sont versés automatiquement à la Sécurité sociale, la caisse de retraite. Pour les impôts, les prélèvements dépendent des revenus, de la situation familiale (célibataire, nombre d'enfants etc.). Quel est salaire minimum américain? Comment marche le système de sécurité sociale américain? On a souvent l'image du malade non assuré qui ne peut pas avoir les soins requis, alors qu'une telle situation est impossible en France car on est assuré automatiquement dès qu'on travaille. Merci et à bientôt. Maud


Minimum wage here is, I think, $5.25 an hour, but it goes up a little every year or so, so it may be a bit higher now. The average work week is 40 hours here, not 35.

A certain percentage is taken from every salary to pay for social security and medicare for seniors. Social security is close to 10% and medicare about 5%, I believe. it may change depending upon how much you make. I don't know about that. In addition, other income taxes tend to reduce take-home income a lot. I know, for example, that a high school teacher in Philadelphia (my home city) who's salary is officially $50,000 a year, takes home only about half of that after taxes and social security. There are federal income taxes that vary by how much you make, up to 39%, I believe, on top of social security and medicare, for the highest income group. Most states have a state income tax, and the percentage varies from state to state, usually in the teens, I think. And even a few cities have income tax. Philadelphia's in 4.61%. Most towns and cities, however, only have property taxes (on houses and other land owned), not income taxes.

What is an average salary for a high school teacher in France? $50,000-$70,000 is pretty typical here for someone who's been working a few years. It gets as high as $90,000+ is some rarer cases. How much do doctors make? Here that varies mostly between 80,000 and 200,000 dollars a year, with certain specialists making much more, and a few kind people who work in city clinics making much less. Are there any other interesting comparisons you can make here? Any professions that would make much more in France than the US?



juste une petite précision au post de maud: sans travailler, il est également possible d'être couvert pas la sécu depuis l'instauration de la CMU (couverture médicale universelle)


Vinz qui n'a rien à ajouter

Bonjour a tous

Pour repondre a la question sur les religions, il faut deja savoir qu'en France environ 80% des gens ne sont pas du tout religieux, et tout ce qui est publis doit etre totalement laïc (par exemple il est totalement impensable pour le president de la republique d'afficer sa religion, quelle qu'elle soit, et encore plus de prononcer un priere en public ou quoi que ce soit dans ce genre la...) Pour ceux qui ont une religion, la plupart sont catholique (la proportion de protestants est tres faible), par contre avec l'augmentation de l'immigration en provenance d'Afrique du Nord, l'Islam est en train de croître de maniere assez importante.