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The Existence of One Singular Culture for The Arab World

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The two polarities of this scale are individualism on one side, and collectivism on the other. Finally, the cultural dimension of masculinity refers to the degree that the people within a culture demonstrate behaviors which are considered to be masculine such as “ assertiveness, the acquisition of money and things, and not caring for others, the quality of life, or people” (Hofstede, 2001: 279). These values were identified as being masculine because men within nearly every society were found to consider these values to be important, while women placed lesser on them.

Interestingly, men held these values even in cultures which were overall more feminine. The opposite polarity to masculinity, femininity, represents such values as caring for others, security, and the quality of life (Hofstede, 2001: 282). Eight years after the publication of Culture’ s Consequences, Hofstede added a 5th dimensions, long-term orientation. Based on Confucianism, long-term orientation refers to the degree that culture is orientated towards the future (perseverance and thrift) or is focused on the present (quick results and enjoying one’ s self) (Hofstede and Bond, 1988: 16). This dimension was identified through cross-cultural studies carried out in Asia.

The original IBM instrument used by Hofstede was not able to detect this dimension due to its lack of significance in Western cultures, which unintentionally created bias in the (Western-designed) IBM questionnaire (Hofstede, 2001: 352). Hofstede had identified the four main cultural dimensions of power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism, and masculinity by analyzing questionnaires gathered from IBM employees within different countries, then comparing and contrasting their responses. As stated above, over 116,000 questionnaires from 66 countries were originally analyzed 2002: 90).

However, due to sampling concerns, questionnaires from some countries were removed. Thus the original cultural dimensions were based on the analysis of surveys from 40 countries; of these, only one was from the Middle East, namely Iran (Hofstede, 2001: 44).

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preview essay on The Existence of One Singular Culture for The Arab World
  • Pages: 16 (4000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Culture
  • Level: Degree
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