Hofstede The Power Of Culture Analysis

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Hofstede views culture as “the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another” (1994, p. 5). It is apparent from this definition that Hofstede is stressing the power of culture in assorting people into distinct categories or strata based on different qualities and characteristics that they embody. Matsumoto contends that culture is “the set of attitudes, values, beliefs, and behaviors shared by a group of people, but different for each individual, communicated from one generation to the next” (1996, p. 16). Hence, Matsumoto believes that culture is the possession of one group of people which is passed from one generation to another. Samovar and Porter provide a more detailed…show more content…
It is important to mention that Spencer-Oatey insists, while defining culture, that it (culture) affects how members of a certain society behave but it does not ultimately determine their behavior (2008, p. 3). 2.2. Characteristics of Culture Culture can better be understood if it is looked at in terms of the different features that characterize it. Although the latter are many, only the most common ones are to be discussed in the following: 1. Culture, in the most essential respects, belongs exclusively to humans. 2. Culture is learned by means of socialization; it is not inborn. In this respect, Benedict (1943) says that culture is “ the sociological term for learned behavior, behavior which in man is not given at birth… but must be learned anew from grown people by each generation” (cited in Shaules, 2007, p.…show more content…
Hofstede confirms by arguing that “no culture is objectively better or worse, superior or inferior to another” (2002, p. 34). Being interested in visualizing culture in terms of layers, Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner (1998) proposed a model of culture, called the onion model. The latter is made up of three different layers; these are the outer layer, the middle layer, and the core. The first [the outer layer] consists of artifacts and products, referred to by Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner as ‘explicit products’. These are, in Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner words, “the observable reality of the language, food, buildings, houses, monuments, agriculture, shrines, markets, fashions and art” (p. 21). The second [the middle layer] includes norms, which can be defined as “the mutual sense a group has of what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’” (pp. 21-22), and values which are “closely related to the ideals shared by a group” (p. 22) and which decide on what is good and what is bad. The third [the core] constitutes basic assumptions about existence which are believed to be evident by people sharing the same culture. These basic assumptions are said to have an impact on the middle
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