Living in the USA
As William Gay, distinguished adviser to the last edition of Living in the U.S.A., so aptly noted, the United States is "a country that is never what you think it is." Since that edition was introduced nearly ten years ago, the country has been struggling with troubling, divisive events and issues, especially the September 11, 2001 attacks and the resulting War on Terror. Despite these extraordinary times, the United States still holds promise and opportunity for those who take the time to understand it. Jef Davis, a seasoned interculturalist and long-time adviser to international travelers, provides us a revised edition of Living in the U.S.A. that will guide you through the confusing, conflicted, exciting country and its diverse population. Part American cultural analysis, part practical relocation guide, this book will help you understand how general cultural traits will affect your daily interactions with Americans and give you a working vocabulary that will help you get around. Short-term visitors to the U.S. will learn how to survive customs and immigration, find an apartment, conduct business, obtain health care and navigate the supermarket, bank and post office. Long-term visitors will find practical pointers to get along at work, school and at home; buy a house; make and keep American friends; and understand dominant American values in a diverse and complex society in the context of twenty-first century issues like the rise of religious fundamentalism and tensions between security and personal liberties. With new material and significantly updated chapters, Living in the U.S.A. is the perfect companion for those "just visiting" and immigrants alike.
Contents Acknowledgments Original Preface Introduction Part I: American Intangibles 1 First Impressions 2 Dominant U.S. American Values 3 American Cocultures Part II: American Institutions 4 American Social Life 5 American Civic Life 6 American Religious Life 7 American Family Life 8 American Business Life Part III: Getting Here and Getting Settled 9 Getting Here 10 Money and Banking 11 Medical Care 12 Safety and Emergencies 13 Food and Food Customs 14 Staying in Touch with People 15 Transportation Part IV: For Those Who Stay Longer 16 Housing 17 Shopping: Getting the Most for Your Money 18 Household Help and Care of Young Children 19 Educating Your Children 20 Raising Teenagers 21 Finding Friends and Having Fun 22 Twenty-First-Century Issues Appendix A: National Holidays Appendix B: Conversions Endnotes Internet Resources Index
Jef C. Davis is the director of International Studies and Programs at Youngstown State University, where he oversees international student and faculty affairs, study abroad programs, and intensive ESL. A well-known intercultural educator, for nearly 25 years he has helped students, professionals, and their families adjust to living in the USA. He has worked in Azerbaijan, sailed around the world with the Semester at Sea program and has directed international services at Clark and Drexel Universities. For ten years, Davis coordinated the intern program at the renowned Summer Institute of Intercultural Communication. He is a doctoral candidate in international higher education at Boston College, and lives in Poland, Ohio with his wife and 3 young children. Alison Lanier was a career facilitator of intercultural interactions, conducting seminars and writing many books on the subject. An honors graduate of Bryn Mawr College, she founded Overseas Briefing Associates and has published eleven books.
"Comprehensive in its detail and attentive to the swirls of current events and attitudes, Living in the U.S.A. makes U.S. practices, habits and lifestyles understandable and navigable, even when uncomfortable for today's newcomers. It is local knowledge at its most digestible." -Dr. George F. Simons, George Simons International, www.diversophy.com "Living in the U.S.A. is a great book which helps us understand in great detail the American way of life, values, etc. It gives great clues/details about understanding the U.S. culture, and is very easy and interesting to read. I believe this will be an invaluable resource for me as I work with Americans and teach about Americans. Highly recommended!" -Ms. Ferhan Alesi, founder of F.A.C.T.; Ferhan Alesi Cultural Training in Istanbul, Turkey, www.ferhanalesi "It's quite refreshing to read such a frank evaluation of the present state of the nation, without interference or contamination from political viewpoints. As objective as it could possibly be, it offers a view of a slightly off-balance society but a resolutely optimistic people." -Robert Johnson, www.dialogin.com