My Argentinian wife really dislikes the US. Typical of Argentinians?

#1
My wife dislikes being away from her family and friends (not much I can do about that). But she also complains about US society being overly materialistic, obsessed with work (and working long hours) and generally being cooler and less family-focused. When I travel to Argentina, I often here the same criticisms from family and friends, and they are not shy in the slightest about critiquing my country. Just curious if anyone else has a similar experience, and if it is a common view among Argentinians.
 
#3
it's not only a common view among Argentines, it's a pretty objective view shared by many people who are familiar with other cultures and can make an unbiased comparison . Even relatively to the developed countries of the EU, North Americans are way more materialistic, work longer hours, and are much less connected to their families and even friends. Different cultural values. But other people might not be as direct as Argentines are when expressing their views, so it doesn't come across as a critique, but rather as an opinion. Also most Argentines have never been to States and their opinions are formed by hearsay. No point in taking it personally. I suppose it's a little too late now, but the discussions regarding the country of residence are better held before the 'I do'...Good luck with whatever you decide, but in any case one of you will be much less content than the other.
 
#5
My wife dislikes being away from her family and friends (not much I can do about that). But she also complains about US society being overly materialistic, obsessed with work (and working long hours) and generally being cooler and less family-focused. When I travel to Argentina, I often here the same criticisms from family and friends, and they are not shy in the slightest about critiquing my country. Just curious if anyone else has a similar experience, and if it is a common view among Argentinians.
Interesting that you bring this topic up. Recently I've felt like we have experienced more anti-US sentiment, or maybe I am just now noticing it more, or more sensitive to it now. Sometimes it's how we're treated in restaurants, and I don't mean the normal bad service- sorry about the stereotype-- but, for example, not being waited on as attentively as Argentines. It's also the comments and stereotypes about Americans. I will agree that we are materialistic, but when I get outside BA and see how people live in the "countries," I see no real difference with the US. Of course, I am sure some with argue that is a very small percentage of Argentine society, but I have also witnessed Argentines (and other Latin Americans) going crazy in duty free shops. And I don't buy the argument that's because those items are so much more expensive normally for them. Those items are not basic necessities by any means; most of them are luxuries. Most people seems to spend as much as they have or can regardless of where they are from. Americans tend to have more disposable income, so they spend more, buy more things. Is some of that excessive and just buying for the sake of buying? Yes. Again, I admit, we are materialistic, but I don't see such a clear difference between us and the rest of the world. I did not live to work- I am retired now- and the vast majority of my friends do/did not. Some Argentine friends told me about some Cubans they met in Miami who wanted to work a couple hours and then go to the beach for the rest of the day, and would complain and joke about Americans working so much??? Is that how we should be? Is that how a serious country works? I do agree, though, that some Americans work too much, some Americans. Also, I don't think of my friends or family as cold or unwelcoming to foreigners. I know you will say that's just you, not most Americans, but that's exactly what I don't like, so much of what I hear seems to be based on stereotypes. I have read any number of comments in Clarin and La Nacion from Argentines who live in the US, speak English well, and who are well integrated that don't buy into many of these stereotypes and are happy there. When we are away from our country, family, dearest friends, and as a result are not completely happy, many times we nit pick, we constantly look for flaws, and we generally do not look for those in ourselves, but others. Even though I am happy here, when I am not doing well personally, haven't sleep well, etc., I find myself more critical of Argentina and the Argentines. I think that may be why I have perceived more anti-American sentiment recently. Some of what I "see" may have not actually be the case, and even if I am perceiving those things accurately, why should they really bother me? That says more about me than the other folks. I am sure Argentines on this site must get tired of what they perceive as anti-Argentine sentiments and stereotypes. I think the general rule in life is that we all look for scapegoats for whatever our own personal level of frustration, unhappiness is. I think that also explains why so many here are so willing to opine negatively about the US, without ever having been there. Is there usually at least a little bit of truth in stereotypes? Of course there is, or they wouldn't exits. So yes, we are materialistic, we do work too much, we are not as warm as Argentines in general and family has lost its importance, but not to the degree so many would have think.
 
#6
i've seen and experienced issues from time to time that are clearly because i'm from the US. but really, it's not that pervasive in my view. both cultures are not without their snobbery at other countries.
 
#9
Interesting that you bring this topic up. Recently I've felt like we have experienced more anti-US sentiment, or maybe I am just now noticing it more, or more sensitive to it now. Sometimes it's how we're treated in restaurants, and I don't mean the normal bad service- sorry about the stereotype-- but, for example, not being waited on as attentively as Argentines. It's also the comments and stereotypes about Americans. I will agree that we are materialistic, but when I get outside BA and see how people live in the "countries," I see no real difference with the US. Of course, I am sure some with argue that is a very small percentage of Argentine society, but I have also witnessed Argentines (and other Latin Americans) going crazy in duty free shops. And I don't buy the argument that's because those items are so much more expensive normally for them. Those items are not basic necessities by any means; most of them are luxuries. Most people seems to spend as much as they have or can regardless of where they are from. Americans tend to have more disposable income, so they spend more, buy more things. Is some of that excessive and just buying for the sake of buying? Yes. Again, I admit, we are materialistic, but I don't see such a clear difference between us and the rest of the world. I did not live to work- I am retired now- and the vast majority of my friends do/did not. Some Argentine friends told me about some Cubans they met in Miami who wanted to work a couple hours and then go to the beach for the rest of the day, and would complain and joke about Americans working so much??? Is that how we should be? Is that how a serious country works? I do agree, though, that some Americans work too much, some Americans. Also, I don't think of my friends or family as cold or unwelcoming to foreigners. I know you will say that's just you, not most Americans, but that's exactly what I don't like, so much of what I hear seems to be based on stereotypes. I have read any number of comments in Clarin and La Nacion from Argentines who live in the US, speak English well, and who are well integrated that don't buy into many of these stereotypes and are happy there. When we are away from our country, family, dearest friends, and as a result are not completely happy, many times we nit pick, we constantly look for flaws, and we generally do not look for those in ourselves, but others. Even though I am happy here, when I am not doing well personally, haven't sleep well, etc., I find myself more critical of Argentina and the Argentines. I think that may be why I have perceived more anti-American sentiment recently. Some of what I "see" may have not actually be the case, and even if I am perceiving those things accurately, why should they really bother me? That says more about me than the other folks. I am sure Argentines on this site must get tired of what they perceive as anti-Argentine sentiments and stereotypes. I think the general rule in life is that we all look for scapegoats for whatever our own personal level of frustration, unhappiness is. I think that also explains why so many here are so willing to opine negatively about the US, without ever having been there. Is there usually at least a little bit of truth in stereotypes? Of course there is, or they wouldn't exits. So yes, we are materialistic, we do work too much, we are not as warm as Argentines in general and family has lost its importance, but not to the degree so many would have think.
Nice response, Stantucker, and most of your points apply as well to Argentine society/culture, although those that complain the most about US society/culture will be the first to vehemently deny such a comparison. As well, most of the latter are people who, as has been said, have never been to the US or have only visited for short periods of time. Actually, I find it rather sad that a society/culture that can't get its act together and be even somewhat economically stable when it has everything going for it....well, it's unfortunate that so many want to sit around and complain about other societies/cultures when they should be trying to do something to take care of their own backyard.
 
#10
Nice response, Stantucker, and most of your points apply as well to Argentine society/culture, although those that complain the most about US society/culture will be the first to vehemently deny such a comparison. As well, most of the latter are people who, as has been said, have never been to the US or have only visited for short periods of time. Actually, I find it rather sad that a society/culture that can't get its act together and be even somewhat economically stable when it has everything going for it....well, it's unfortunate that so many want to sit around and complain about other societies/cultures when they should be trying to do something to take care of their own backyard.
Joe, I think the human tendency (whether that human being is American, Argentine, or whoever) is to look to someone else as the source of their problem, or to criticize others as a way of not dealing with their own problems. I also think all countries are hell bent on proving that they are better than the rest, or again maybe it's a way to deflect issues or guilt away from themselves. In Argentina that comes in the form of saying we may not have the money of the States but we are so much warmer, friendlier, family oriented, so as to prove their superiority. In the Us it comes in the form of saying that we are the best, the greatest, to try to convince ourselves or our superioriry and/or to not have to deal with the less savory part of our history, nature and actions. There is the good, the bad and the ugly in all societies. It makes me mad, though, when folks in other societies try to use others' bad and ugly to try to make themselves look better. Nobody denies that there is a horrible problem with gun violence in the States, but when I read Argentines saying what a sick society (about the US) when their is another shooting, I think, they say that and they can't see the sick violence all around them.
 
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