People decide either to cope with culture or create their rules to determine their destiny. Culture occupies a significant part of everybody’s life. The comparison between making up one’s mind and flowing with the system is critical to understanding culture.
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Common Themes from Early Researchers
Many researchers have tried to describe the role of tradition in individual and societal settings. Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck began by stating that there are “limited problems that are similar across all groups with limited solutions” (Nardon & Steers, 2006, p. 5). They developed five value orientations. Different cultures are distinct because of their values (Reisinger & Crotts, 2009).
Some cultures place a high value on ambiguity while others value certainty. Hall emphasized the need for interpersonal communication in his study. He also considered people’s personal space and time (Nardon & Steers, 2006). The seven dimensions of relationships can be divided into two. The subjective view of relationships is of great importance here. There is a motivation that helps people make decisions either collectively or individually. Individual and cultural decisions are independent of each other in concept. The GLOBE study focused on the regional approach to culture.
Common Themes in Comparison
Relationship with the Environment
Some models concentrate on the way individuals control circumstances in their lives while others teach that one can still succeed in the environment without having to change it. In the process, the theme helps to understand the societal goal. It explains the reason for determining the way society works.
First, the concern of the study is to find how humans interact with nature. There are various cultural types in the study. The ‘mastery’ culture gives individuals the power to decide what they want and how they want it in their lives (Reisinger & Crotts, 2009). Subjugation cultures give nature the power over people’s lives. The harmony culture makes people work in tandem with nature to bring peace. The second dimension gives people the freedom to strive for their goals. In this category, there are ‘being’ cultures that help to express the natural human personality traits. ‘Becoming’ culture seeks to develop the individual as a whole. ‘Doing’ cultures make people work within the scope of the environment to produce accomplishments (Nardon & Steers, 2006).
Some cultures are centered around their success on group participation while others see success in individual efforts (Nardon & Steers, 2006). The description of these organizations is based on two terms; individualistic and collectivistic. Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck “classified culture into three types: individualistic, collateral, and lineal” (Nardon & Steers, 2006, p. 12). The Western countries support the individualistic view while the Eastern countries support the collectivistic one.
The dimension illustrates how individuals in society structure power. There are vertical and horizontal relationships. Hofstede describes power distance as the “beliefs people have about the appropriateness of either large or small differences in power and authority between the members of a group or society” (Nardon & Steers, 2006, p. 15).
Rules help to reduce uncertainty. Rules control behavior. Rule-based cultures are different from relationship-based ones. Relationship-based cultures imply that influential people moderate society and not the rules.
Each society has a different notion and use of time. There are past-oriented cultures that value traditions. Present-oriented cultures do not concern for the past or the future (Hristova, Knubben, & Vartiainen, 2011). Future-oriented cultures avoid traditional ways and focus on making a future that is different from their current situation
Cultural transformation comes in various forms. However, not everybody wants to change the culture. Each society finds comfort in what they believe to be their accepted norms.
Hristova, S., Knubben, T., & Vartiainen, P. (2011). United in diversity?. Ludwigsburg, Germany: Verlag Padagogische Hochschule Ludwigsburg.
Nardon, L. & Steers, R. (2006). Navigating the culture theory jungle: Divergence and convergence in models of national culture. Web.
Reisinger, Y. & Crotts, J. (2009). Applying hofstede’s national culture measures in tourism research: Illuminating issues of divergence and convergence. Journal of Travel Research, 49(2), 153-164.