Cultural dimensions according to Geert Hofstede use the method of analysis factor to show the relation of values, beliefs and cultures of a given society and how they interrelate to human behavior. The Geert theory has been used in several research fields especially in the cultural psychology, communication and in the international management. The theory was always used in the observation of cultural differences between different cultures.
Asian culture is based on civilization of the human. Group ethnics, societies, national cultural heritages and nationalities from different regions zones in the continent characterize it. The continent is divided into different regions amongst them being east, north, south, and west, central and in the Southeast Asia. From a geographical view, the continent is not distinct and on a cultural point, it has had less history and unity. The music, art and literature play a big impact in cultural promotion in the continent.
The western cultures are based on the western civilization, European civilization and the lifestyle. Their cultures are based on their ethics, customs, beliefs, values, heritage and their social norms. Technology, which has its roots on the European lifestyle, also helps in cultural upbringing. The culture is based on the laws, arts of artistic, traditions and their philosophy. Some of the facts that led to western civilization include Christianity, different European languages and the Jewish heritages. Various political thoughts, increased job opportunities, right of human democracy and scientific evolutions are some of the things that shape the western value.
We analyzed two questions to try and analyze the cultures. The questions we asked were what aspects of the culture makes them differ and what are the differences between the two cultures. Below is the analysis that tries to show the differences and application of the Hofstede model in the culture analysis.
What aspects of the culture make it differ?
One core factor that indicates the difference in culture is their mode of living and their lifestyle. The Western culture for example the American, their lifestyle changes day by day unlike the Asian culture like the Japanese who have almost a constant lifestyle. Religion also helps in showing the difference. The Western culture relies on Christianity to shape some of its culture while the Asians rely on some beliefs and their temples to shape some of its laws.
What are the differences between the Asian and the western cultures?
In analysis of this case study, we analyzed different aspects of both the Western and the Asian continent. The aspects included study and analysis of way of living of people in the countries, their religion, and mode of life and institutions of law. In our case study, an example used to represent the Asian country is Japan while for the western country is the United States of America. One of the most adverse differences between the two continents is the family issue. The Asian culture values the family and the old or the elderly are given much respect while the western people do not give much respect to the old. The Asian cultures majorly rely on groups as a measure of unity while the west, their culture tends to be based on individualism. The American people have a great desire for one’s own identity and uniqueness unlike the Japanese. The Asian people have much stronger family unity than the western individuals do.
Religion is also another aspect that contrasts the Asian people and the western individuals. Christianity is the act of worship in the western world with majority majorly attending the churches while in the Asian continents almost all people believe in the Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism as their form of worship. They mostly worship in temples and some believe in some historic gods and values.
Gender between both cultures also differs. This is an aspect of either being male or female and it shows the level to which a society respects traditional gender roles. It compares and relates the roles, assertiveness and competitiveness versus modesty and caring. The Hofstede theory shows that the males are expected to be competitive, aggressive, strong and assertive while the women have different professions from their male counterparts. The western continent males are more assertive than the females while some of the Asian continents females are perceived to play more of the home based chores unlike the western world where both genders have almost equal roles. The theory further states that competition and goal realization are the primary drivers of a masculine society while the feminine society emphasis is on the quality of life and concern for others.
In both continents the masculine value success and assertiveness while the feminine cultures value qualities such as interpersonal relationships and concern for the weak.
Avoidance dimension shows the degree to which a society feels afraid of unfamiliar and odd situations leading to the development of institutions or beliefs to solve this risk. The assumption is that different societies use various approaches to deal with the anxiety they feel about the future. While both the Western and the Asian continents have laws and regulations that assist in curbing of problems, majority of the Asian people still use the elderly, religious priests and some laws to problem solving.
The western cultures for example the united states of America have a vertical social hierarchies unlike the Asian for example the Japanese have a horizontal social hierarchies. In the vertical context, most people are concerned with only improving their life status and they try to be amongst the best by standing out. The horizontal hierarchy majority of the people have a perception of being equal in status and to others and they tend to build themselves as a country.
The western and Asian are different in the cultural dimensions of gender role and uncertainty avoidance. While the Asian cultures reflect a feminine society, the western conforms to a masculine culture. The Asian society avoids uncertainty while the western culture allows. The two continents are similar in some cultural dimensions like power and long-term orientation. Both cultures emphasize equality and are individualistic and short-term lived. From the observation and the reference materials read, its evident that there are much contrasting elements in the cultures of the Western and the Asian. Based on the Hofstede model, which we used in the analysis to base our facts we have learnt that cultures differ in different zones. While most cultures of the Asian are interrelated and are spread across their zones their beliefs and traditions, the Western cultures are borrowed from different European practices and their ways of life. The cultures of the West change time by time depending on different life styles that come. Their laws help them in day-to-day life activities and they can change while the Asian cultures most of them do not always change and are based on beliefs.
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