I’ve been living in a couple different cultures, and sometimes things get to you. One thing that I’ve found has been consistent is that I tend to think the culture where I’m living values style over substance. They believe it is more important for things to have the correct appearance than to have actual correct substance. For example, in Cameroon my students would often spend hours neatly writing their tests. They would use straightedges to underline things and use different colored pens, special ways of writing their name, re-copy the whole thing in neater handwriting, etc. Even when they didn’t know a single answer and had to have known they were going to get a 0.
Then I realized I think this about parts of America, too. LA, for example.
I suspect that the problem is with me. And I suspect it is not just with me- I have a theory that every culture believes that any given other culture values form over substance.
Is this true? Any examples?