American Vs. Iatalian Debating

There's a difference in how the two cultures approach verbal conflict. Maybe they have something to teach each other.


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People are supposed to behave properly during a debate but most of the times it turns into a wild fight.

Today it’s more common to end up debating someone about policy. We seemly  end up fighting  the other on their views every time.

In Italy there’s not a polite way of debating and everyone is always screaming and not listening the other person.

No one seems to talk in a civilized manor to each other anymore and it can get frustrating.

Coming from Italy,  I have noticed a difference  between how people talk to each other in the US and Italy. For example, once when I was in school in Italy my friends and I started talking about government policy, and it quickly became a mess: people yelling and screaming at each other, no one listening to anyone else, utter chaos.

However, here in my US government class, I saw a massive difference. In class although the people did not agree with each other on policy,  they were able to keep cool, calm heads and remain civil.

It was clear to me that the best way to debate someone is by being as civil as possible to the other person. If you can’t remain civil, it quickly becomes a fight with yelling and screaming and people being rude.

Another difference I noticed is how the teachers tend to conduct themselves and remain civil with their students. In Italy, the teachers will argue about politics, trying to force their beliefs on their students. It tends to get very frustrating, and annoying. Teachers are participants in the yelling and screaming as well, and if your opinion differs from theirs, they no longer tend to like you and mark you down in grades.

Here in the United States it is completely different than it is in Italy, as teachers tend to stay out of the debating and only act as a proctor. They also don’t try to force their political beliefs down your throat, and remain as civil as possible to the students, never changing a student’s grade for having differing opinions.

In the U.S. people are more likely to listen to each other trying to understand their opinions.

Claudia Molteni, who has spent most of her life living in Italy has said, “Spending all my life in Italy I can say for sure that we don’t know how to talk to each other civilly and a debate always turns into a fight.”  She continued,”Especially when we  start talking policy, we have a lot of prejudice and if a person disagree they are either called a fascist or communist.  This is not a healthy practice and it makes it hard to form your own opinion.”

Sibilla Bazzan  an Italian foreign exchange student spending time in the US,  agrees with these points.  “It’s incredibly different inside the US, compared to what it’s like [in Italy].  Sure, people get into fights while debating, but when someone disagrees it instantly doesn’t fall into yelling and screaming and called a fascist.”

So, in spite of the heated atmosphere in the U.S. these days, it is clear that they have learned how to debate more civilly than in my native country.  Comparing the different countries’ discource styles, perhaps we can learn from each other.