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					Cultural Norms

By Mr Daniel Hansson
         Important Definitions
• Culture: A shared, learned, symbolic system of
  values, beliefs and attitudes that shapes and
  influences perception and behavior
• Cultural dimension: A construct to explain and
  compare norms for a specific type of behavior in
  cultures
• Social norms: Expected behaviours and
  attitudes in smaller social group
• Cultural norms: Expected behaviours and
  attitudes in a society or culture
        Important Definitions
• Emic: relates to the intrinsic values of the
  society or culture specific behavior that are
  important to its members
• Etic: relates to extrinsic (measurable)
  properties of a society that are important
  for comparison and scientific observation
     Questions for Discussion
Think of all cultures that you have had
experiences of. Think of behavior that you
think are very unique for the culture (emic).
Think of behaviors that more or less exist in
many cultures (etics)
A Study with an Emic or an Etic
         Approach?
• Chiao & Blizinsky (2010): Found that
  depression is more common in countries
  with high levels of individualism. In
  addition, individualism is negatively
  correlated with a high frequency of a short
  allele in the 5-htt gene
A Study with an Emic or an Etic
         Approach?
• Conway et al. (2005): 194 participants from Japan,
  China, Bangladesh, England and the United States
  recalled and dated specific autobiographical memories.
  A comparison between Chinese and U.S. participants
  showed that memories of Chinese subjects had more of
  a social orientation than those of American participants
  that were more events oriented to the individual. The
  study did however also demonstrate the universality of a
  phenomenon called the reminiscence bump; the
  tendency to recall more personal events from
  adolescence and early adulthood than from other lifetime
  periods.
A Study with an Emic or an Etic
         Approach?
• In 1959, John Howard Griffin disguised
  himself into a black man in order to
  experience the "black world", i.e., the social
  milieu of southern U.S. blacks.
A Study with an Emic or an Etic
         Approach?
• Evans & Schamberg (2009): conducted a long term
  study of cognitive development in 195 American lower
  and middle class students. Participants were measured
  on their levels of stress, such as amount of stress
  hormones in the blood and their blood pressure between
  ages of 9 to 13. Later, at the age of 17, the researchers
  measured the participants’ working memory. Participants
  were asked to remember a sequence of items. The
  teenagers who had grown up in poverty averaged about
  8.5 items compared to middle class students who
  averaged about 9.44 items.
A Study with an Emic or an Etic
         Approach?
• Margaret Mead (1973): Investigated
  adolescents in Samoa, and found that they
  had gender roles similar to adults and that
  puberty was not a traumatic experience
       Studies with Emic or Etic
            Approaches?
•   Ekman (1973)
•   Yuki (2005)
•   Cole and Scribner (1974)
•   Bond and Smith (1996)
      Hofstede’s (1973) Cultural
         Dimensions Survey
• A survey on 100.000 employees from the
  multinational company IBM from 50
  countries about morale in the workplace
• Identified key cultural differences between
  countries
• The different trends were called
  dimensions
      Individualism-Collectivism

• How people define themselves and the
  relationships with others
• Individualistic cultures: Self interest
  prevails before the interest of the in group
• Collectivistic cultures: The group
  interest prevails before self interest
            Power Distance

• “The extent to which less powerful
  members of institutions and organizations
  within a culture expect and accept that
  power is distributed unequally.” –Hofstede
• Is also a measure of how cultures deal
  with inequalities
       Masculinity-Femininity
• Masculine cultures stress assertiveness,
  competition, and material success.
• Feminine cultures permit more overlapping
  social roles for the sexes, place high value
  on feminine traits, stress quality of life,
  interpersonal relationships, and concern
  for the weak.
      Uncertainty Avoidance
• Cultures strong in uncertainty avoidance
  are active, aggressive, emotional,
  compulsive, security seeking, and
  intolerant
• Cultures weak in uncertainty avoidance
  are contemplative, less aggressive,
  unemotional, relaxed, accepting of
  personal risks, and relatively tolerant
Long term-short/term orientation
• Also called confucian dynamism because it measured
  Confucian values of perseverance, patience, social
  hierarchy, thrift, and a sense of shame
• Is a measure of the time orientation of a culture
• Long-term orientation encourages thrift, savings,
  perseverance toward results, and a willingness to
  subordinate oneself for a purpose.
• Short-term orientation is consistent with spending to
  keep up with social pressure, less savings, preference
  for quick results, and a concern with face
     Questions for Discussion
Relate to the cultural dimensions when answering
   these questions
1. Imagine that you are starting a company in
   Guatemala with Guatemalan employees. What
   do you need to be aware of and how should
   you treat the employees?
2. How would you have to act in order to be
   adapted to Japanese society in terms of
   values, behavior?
3. What cultural differences may cause conflict in
   a relationship between an American and a
   South African?
        Strengths, Hofstede
• The study has been replicated six times.
  Last time 2005
• A large sample from many countries
• Usefulness – to understand cultural
  differences in work ethics and behaviour,
  to compare cultures
      Weaknesses, Hofstede
• Use of self report (validity problems)
• Generalisability problem: only IBM
  employees, only certain countries
• Generalisation/stereotyping risk: there are
  large individual differences within cultures,
  as well as subcultures within a culture
• Culture is non-static and ever-changing

				
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posted:1/24/2013
language:English
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