First of all we are assuming here americans as people who were born in United States of America, and not all American people (north america, central america and south america).
Stereotypes of Americans are ethnic generalizations and oversimplified images or ideas about American people, and are found in many societies worldwide. Remember americans here are defined as citizens of the United States. Stereotypes of Americans have been collectively internalized by societies, and are manifested by a society’s media, literature, creative expressions, and general public opinion. Some of the following stereotypes are more popular than the others, and some are not directed exclusively toward Americans. Most of the stereotypes are negative, but some are positive.Negative stereotypes of other cultures and social groups are common in virtually all societies.
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- Materialism, overconsumption, and extreme capitalism
Perhaps the most popular stereotype of Americans is that of economic materialism. They may be seen as caring about nothing but money, judging everything by its economic value, and scorning those of lower socioeconomic status.
- Uneducatedness, ignorance, and gullibility
Americans may be stereotyped as ignorant of all countries and cultures beyond their own. This stereotype shows them as lacking intellectual curiosity, thus making them ignorant of other cultures, places, or anything outside of their own lives or the United States.
Among the most popular stereotypes is that Americans eat an excess amount of fast food, and are obese. With 33.8% of the population obese, of all the countries of the developed world, the United States has the highest rate of obesity. This is well reflected by the popular “fat American” stereotype.
- Racism and racialism
American people in general may be portrayed as racist or racialist, often discriminating against their minorities. Racism was a significant issue of American history and is still relevant today. Racialized society, racial classification, and the concept of race is a part of the American culture, where it is frequently used in political contexts. Historical racism continues to be reflected in socioeconomic inequality, and has taken on more modern, indirect forms of expression, most prevalently symbolic racism. Many people in the U.S. maintain some prejudices against other “races”.
- Gun-loving, violent culture
Americans have a long historical fondness of guns and this is often portrayed by American media. A considerable percentage of Americans own firearms. The United States has one of the highest death rates caused by firearms in the developed world. The international media often reports American mass shootings, making these incidents well known internationally.
- Environmental unconsciousness
Americans may be seen as reckless and imprudent people when it comes to the environment. They may be portrayed as lavish, driving high polluting SUVs and unconcerned about climate change or global warming. The United States has the second-highest carbon dioxide emission after China, and is one of the few countries which did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol.
- Arrogance and boastfulness
Many people see Americans as arrogant people.Americans may be seen by people of other countries as arrogant and egomaniacal.American president Barack Obama said that America has shown arrogance, been dismissive and even derisive.American boys may be stereotyped as vain and promiscuous.
- Unwarranted military intervention
Another stereotype is that Americans “want to be the world’s policemen”, believing that the entire world needs their help, even if it means military intervention and civilian casualties. This stereotype was most likely spawned from historical United States military interventions, which many people opposed.
- Supernatural and paranormal
Americans may be portrayed as believing in the paranormal or supernatural phenomena, e.g. psychic powers, ghosts, haunted houses, UFOs, and exorcism.
A positive stereotype of Americans is that they are very generous. The United States sends aid and supplies to many countries, and Americans may be seen as people who are charitable or volunteer.
Americans are seen as very positive and optimistic people.
Americans are stereotyped as hardworking people, whether in their jobs or other matters.
De Tocqueville first noted, in 1835, the American attitude towards helping others in need. A 2010 Charities Aid Foundation study found that Americans were the fifth most willing to donate time and money in the world at 55%.
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