Cultural Differences Between Asia and America

Asia and America are two very different continents, and although a lot of their cultures may appear similar, as they cross a number of different aspects. However, there are quite a few differences when it comes to the culture between the two, as many would expect. The first is the visa waiver program that America has in place, which is a visa for USA, and allows citizens from some other countries to enter the country without a visa if their country of citizenship qualifies. In Asia however, there is no such scheme and all visitors will have to obtain a visa in order to gain access. We’ve put together a list of the main cultural differences between Asia and America.

Individualism vs. Collectivism

In America, a lot of the culture derives around individualism – with one’s personal goals being more of a priority than a collective. This is said to encourage ambition and drive individuals to succeed, and a lot of the culture in America does definitely revolve around this. However, in Asia, a lot of the decisions that are made culturally are done so for collective greater good rather than individual gain. Collectivism is a huge thing in Asia, and the difference in culture can often be seen as quite odd as each culture visits the other. One difference with this however, is the structure on authority particularly in the workplace. In Asia, the person who is the highest authority figure in the workplace is generally the one who makes the final decision. However, in the US a lot of decisions are made collectively amongst colleagues, and lower down employees tend to be more influential in an American workplace than they would be in an Asian workplace.

Styles Of Communication

America is stereotyped as being quite loud and overly friendly, and many of the citizens that are very upfront in their manner of communication. More often than not, they are defensive about their ideas and are happy to lead into confrontation if another party does not necessarily agree with their opinion. However, in Asia the style of communication is very different. In some countries in Asia, some cultures result in people greeting each other with a bow instead of a loud hello and a handshake. Also in Asia, some people would simply nod on their opinion even if they don’t agree with what you’re saying in order to respect and honour others.

Relationships vs. Economics

In many Asian countries, when dealing with business, there is a very strong emphasis on relationship building and social networking. Before many Asian businesses sign deals, they tend to spend a lot of time getting to know them and trusting them, before business comes into it at all. This process can lead to business deals taking a rather long time, which is the complete opposite to how a lot of American businesses work. Relationships and social networking is regarded as casual, and unrelated to business, and business deals are tied quickly and efficiently. In America, personal and professional relationships are two very different things that should never be overlapped. However in Asia, the relationships play a big role in both their personal and professional lives, and people tend to know a lot about their colleagues and employees, while building genuine trust between them.