Tuesday, November 6, 2007


I did a lesson on stereotypes today.  I handed out a sheet with some American stereotypes about Germans (blond-haired, blue-eyed, orderly, hobbies include drinking beer and invading Poland), then asked them to come up with a sentence or two about America for each of my stereotype categories.  Here's what they came up with (things in quotes are direct quotations; things not in quotes are summaries of class feelings):

Society: Very open to other cultures except Afghanistan.  Friendly 
and funny.  Very individualistic. 

Lifestyle: Fast food and "secret parties."  One girl: "Americans are very nervous and eat a lot of hamburgers."  That cracked me up in class.

Entertainment: "The sound of guns being fired is like music to Americans."  Movie stars everywhere.  Country music. 

Politics: Everyone loves George W. Bush. Always going to war with other countries.

Economy: Big houses and big cars.  Only interested in other countries if they have oil. 
"Americans all want Mercedes but they can't get them." 

Religion: All Christians.  All irreligious.  Tons of different religions. (I laughed when we finished that one, because I got the whole spectrum after calling on three people)

Problems (hooo boy): "America is full of violent rednecks and the KKK and 
everyone hates black people." 
Homeless people. Drugs. Gang wars. Healthcare.  George W. Bush. 

Miscellaneous: Americans are all out of shape. Americans see everything in black and white.  Americans are stupid.

It was a fun lesson.  We talked a little about how much of this stuff they thought was probably true (50-50, they said, much like the German stereotypes I told them).  Amusing stuff.


Emmaline, dearest... said...

Hilarious and sad at the same time. No wonder everyone hates America, if that's how we come across.

Chuck said...

I am very nervous and eat hamburgers...

Emmaline, dearest... said...

The typical American: http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/ATA/24385BP.jpg