American Values Reflected in Names of US Supermarkets, the Top Five Values and American Dream


This study based its foundation on a qualitative study of organizations that are closely related to people’s daily life—supermarkets, more exactly supermarket names and analyzed values represented in these names. 211 supermarket names were collected and values were extracted from these subjects, then the frequency and frequency rates of each individual value were calculated by SPSS 17. At last, 20 values were obtained. Among them, the top five values were individualism, directness, nature, cultural identity, efficiency and practicality, which respectively took up 19.8%, 7.9%, 5.8%, 5.3% and 5.3%. Individualism, one of the dominant values in American society, ranked the first in terms of frequency rate, representing people’s desire in memorizing their achievement and success as well as demonstrating personal responsibilities; directness showed people’s straightforward way of expression; nature demonstrated the fervent love for nature and the original and simple ways of solving problems, and nature also symbolized the “return for nature”; cultural identity, also collective identity, meant people’s identification as a member of a group; efficiency and practicality were to seek the fast and cheapest way of achieving a goal. What was surprising was the reflection of nature and cultural identity, which were rarely mentioned as belonging to core American values. Besides, the American Dream values, covering individualism, competition, freedom, pioneering spirit, superiority and nationalism, constituted about 27% of the totality of frequency rate, which proved the unwavering charm of American dream in American society.

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Wang, Z. & Fan, W. (2013). American Values Reflected in Names of US Supermarkets, the Top Five Values and American Dream. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 3, 348-355. doi: 10.4236/ojml.2013.34045.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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