People tend to assume that British and American culture is very similar but the truth is that there are a number of major differences. While there certainly are some similarities, if you dig a little deeper you will find that there are some interesting differences in many areas of life.
There are similarities in all Western countries when it comes to fashion but there are also many differences between British and American styles. In America, there is a strong sense of pride in school and college which is why you see so many people wearing hoodies and varsity jackets with college logos – something that seems very foreign to British people. You will also notice that many British women tend to opt for stylish and subtle accessories like flapover purses from places like Radley London whereas in America these tend to be more noticeable accessories.
While many would complain both sides of the pond, British workers tend to have a better work-life balance with a standard 28 days paid time off each year. This is not the case Stateside where you would be lucky to get two weeks paid time off. Interestingly, only 24% of US workers take their vacation time which suggests a potential difference in work ethic and being driven to reach the top.
Of course, one of the biggest difference between the US and Britain is that you can receive free healthcare in Britain thanks to the National Health Service (NHS). While there are certainly issues surrounding the NHS, it is a fantastic and highly important service for residents which ensures that everyone gets the care that they need although it can take some time to get seen. You need to have health insurance in the USA which can create problems for many who struggle to afford it but often you will find that you will get seen quicker.
Another notable difference and a topic of huge controversy is America’s right to bear arms. Although there is mounting pressure to increase gun controls in the USA, for many it is a hugely important part of their identity and a different cultural approach to that of Britain. Following this, in the entire UK police force only 10% of officers carry a firearm which is a big difference to the USA where the vast majority carry a gun.
As you can see, there are a number of big differences in culture and lifestyle between the USA and Britain. There are certainly many similarities in some areas but stark differences in other areas which is to be expected as two countries with very different histories, challenges and ideals. It will be interesting to see in the coming years if the countries will become more similar in some areas and further apart in others.