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Examples of Different Culture

Can you provide some examples based on the following discussion about culture?

According to Schein, culture is 'a pattern of basic assumptions - invented, discovered or developed by a given group as it learns to cope with its problems of external adaptation and internal integration - that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think and feel in relation to those problems.'

Schein described culture in three levels, the primary being the surface manifestation or easily observable behavior, rituals, customs, objects and languages. The secondary being values and beliefs, and, the third being the basic assumptions. The third level is invisible and cannot be observed.
How do people behave as individuals and as groups?

The universal nature of human beings, along with the cultural influences, shapes a person's individual personality.

There is a constant conflict between the individual identity of the person - allowing a person to make their own decisions and the freedom to choose their own paths, and their group identity - providing the structure and the bounds within which the individual can make decisions.

Different cultures have different views of time. Some focus more on the past and the present and some are more focused on the future. The Chinese, for example, have a more relaxed approach towards time spent as compared to the Japanese, who prefer speed.

Hall & Hall
Hall, in his theory, introduced four dimensions of culture - space, time, language and friendships. Space covers the requirement for individual space in different cultures. Time focuses on the concept of the past, present and the future. Friendship covers the degree of inclusiveness or exclusiveness.
Hall further makes distinctions between a low context and a high context culture. High context cultures take a lot of experiences for granted and considering their similar experiences, communication is based more on assumptions and on non verbal cues than on explicit speech. Low context culture, on the contrary, considers that all individuals have unique experiences, and communication, therefore, is focused more on explicit speech and conduct.

Hofstede's theory consists of four dimensions - uncertainty avoidance, power distance, masculinity/femininity and individualism/collectivism. This theory analyses different countries and cultures based on their behavior.
Hofstede model analyses behavior on the basis of the degree to which people prefer certainty over uncertainty and their capability to react to and adapt to change. Power distance considers the cultural boundaries and distance between people from two different ranks. Masculinity covers the attributes and characteristics of a nation, whether they are aggressive or soft spoken, competitive or compassionate, and individualism and collectivism covers the degree to which individual decision making is important as compared to group coordination and teamwork.

For example, on one side are the Arab countries with a large power distance and high uncertainty avoidance, masculinity and a focus on collectivism. And, on the other side is Sweden with a small power distance and weak uncertainty avoidance, a focus on individualism and femininity.

Trompenaars considers cultural attributes as relationship with nature, relationship with people, universalism v particularism, individualism v collectivism, affectivity, diffuse and specific, achievement v ascription and relationship with time.

Universalism and particularism considers the extent to which the society believes in generalization or uniqueness, and consequently, the way business is conducted. Affectivity is the display of emotion and affection, for example, some cultures are more affective than neutral. Specifity and diffuse relationships is the extent to which people allow and accept interference in their private life and the nature of the people, introverts or extroverts. For example, in USA and UK, people have more specific relationships as compared to the diffuse nature of relationships in countries like Germany.


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City Lifestyle: A city lifestyle is likely to include smaller living spaces, multiple neighbors within feet of the domicile of the individual. There are also different modes of transportation, varied entertainment, and a faster pace to life. Places like Amsterdam are clear examples of this type of lifestyle. For those not in a city lifestyle, the pace is slower and the area is less congested with people and choices for entertainment and fewer neighbors.

Backward Country: A country that is backward is often agricultural, like Vietnam, and therefore moves through time dependent on the time of day and seasons. The past provides the traditions of life. ...

Solution Summary

Examples of different cultures are provided. An introduction of four dimensions of cultures are determined.