What does Hofstede's dimensions of culture tell us about country culture?

What does it mean to be British?

When looking into culture, we ask ourselves what does it mean to be British? Or what does it mean to be Bulgarian? There are different questions asked when it comes to it.

  • Are you British?

  • Do you have to be born British?

  • Can an immigrant become British?

  • What does the rest of the world think be British means?

There are lot of questions that could be asked, but how is British culture reinforced or perceived internationally. There are different shows that are popular around the world such as ‘Doctor Who’ or ‘Call the Midwife’, which shows different aspects of England. However, does people think to be British it is what people are in those TV shows. Although you can be seen in different way, events are all over the world. There will be challenges when you have different culture and different backgrounds.

To be British, there are values that the government has set. The values that you have to follow to show that you are British are ‘a belief in freedom, tolerance of others, accepting personal and social responsibility, respecting and upholding the rule of law – are the things we should try to live by every day’. However other countries don’t have those values, and working internationally can be a challenge for us because every country has its own culture. When working internationally we would have different values. Hofsted (1983) has stated that national culture are political entities, that vary from government to education.

When looking at what it is to be British and how it affects the events happening here, young people feel less proud to be British than older generation. This is seen by a survey done by ‘YouGov’ when they surveyed 20,081 people and found 27% of over 65s are proud to be English, compared with 45% of 18-24s.This is because they think UK used to be better before then now. However how do we see the different cultures through events?

Culture through events

Different cultures are seen through events happening. We can see how they act or what they do. The ‘World Cup’ match that happened in 2018 shows what culture Japanese people have and how they behave and act. Culture can be also seen through the act of people. Through the events happening around the globe we can see and learn about different countries. After the football event Japanese cleaned after themselves; “You often hear people say that football is a reflection of culture. An important aspect of Japanese society is making sure that everything is absolutely clean and that's the case in all sporting events and certainly also in football." Through this we can see how Japanese culture compares to English.

However, some cultures bring ‘culture appropriation’. Festivals fashion has come under criticism for cultural appropriation, but festivals are displayed as a space for freedom of expression. However, if the fashion and how we dress on the festival it’s a problem, where is the line between appreciating and appropriating other cultures. The image shown underneath it’s a part of a video about cultural appropriation and how where the line is.

Hofstede’s work

Hofstede developed his original model as a result of using factor analysis to examine the results of a world-wide survey of employee values by IBM between 1967 and 1973. It has been refined since. The original theory proposed four dimensions along which cultural values could be analysed: individualism-collectivism; uncertainty avoidance; power distance (strength of social hierarchy) and masculinity-femininity (task orientation versus person-orientation). Independent research in Hong Kong led Hofstede to add a fifth dimension, long-term orientation, to cover aspects of values not discussed in the original paradigm. In 2010 Hofstede added a sixth dimension, indulgence versus self-restrain.

Showing an example of Hofstede’s model of UK comparing it to Bulgaria, the two countries have different cultures and different aspects. When linking it to events, there traditions and ways of organising an event would be different. The cultures and the way they act at certain events would differ from one another.

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