Batman Universitesi Yasam Bilimleri Dergisi
www.yasambilimleridergisi.com
Cilt 1, Sayı 1  Ocak-Haziran 2012  (ISSN: 2147-4877, E-ISSN: 2459-0614)
Mustafa Güleç

NO Makale Adı
1356289850 Aspects of the Dutch Culture from a Third Perspective: The Dutch through the eye of the British

In this study, the main starting point will be how the Dutch culture, the
behavior, attitude and interpretations of the Dutch in daily life are perceived and
evaluated by British people. White & Boucke (1993; 2000) had spent many years as
foreigners in the Dutch society and described their striking observations on the local
culture containing differences with regard to their own point of view. These features
can be categorized as money and parsimony; raising children and kindness; humor
and way of life; discussion manners of a particular topic and problem solving methods.
Whilst these findings were not agreed upon by a Frenchman, who had been living
for long time in the Netherlands, and were even found rather exaggerated (Fannée,
1996), they were verified by another English observer (Shetter, 1987). The focus of
this study is the relativity of the point of view, the role of identity, behavior and
attitude of nations in constructing, describing and evaluating culture; the background
knowledge of individuals who produce the text concerned; the distance (proximity) of
these individuals to the Dutch society and culture; the transfer of personal experience
to a general discourse, in other words, the way in which clichés and stereotypes come
into being in psychological and sociological sense. At the same time, it will also be
discussed about possible basic arguments for a differentiated perception of the self
and the other at national level in the creation process of cultural clichés, despite the
fact that a Dutchman is not “the other” for an Englishman in historical, cultural and
political sense. While conducting this analysis, the background information regarding
the authors will play a decisive role; and the crucial function of the authors’ physical
and emotional distance to the culture concerned will be demonstrated.