A Cultural Analysis of Mexico

Topics: Geert Hofstede, Cross-cultural communication, Culture Pages: 4 (1393 words) Published: May 3, 2008
To help better understand Mexico’s culture, a brief overview of Geert Hofstede’s study of different cultures would be useful. Hofstede’s cultural taxonomy helps in the understanding of cultural differences. Hofstede proposed that people carry mental programs that are developed during their childhood and are reinforced by their culture (Lustig, Koester, 2006, p.114). Through these programs, the ideas of a culture are expressed through its principal values. Hofstede conducted a study of over 100,000 IBM employees in over seventy-one countries in order to identify these principal values in different cultures. After his initial study, he conducted additional research in additional countries not in the IBM sample. Through his study and additional research, he identified five dimensions along which dominant patterns can be categorized; individualism versus collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, power distance, masculinity versus femininity, and long-term versus short-term orientation to time. Below is a brief description of each dimension followed by Mexico’s cultural values within the criteria. Individualism versus collectivism refers to the degree to which a culture values the individual or the group. People must live and interact with others in order for survival and the must strike a balance between showing concern for themselves and concern for others (Lustig, Koester, 2006, p.115). Hofstede created an individualism index (IDV) to judge a culture’s individualism-collectivism dimension. A high IDV indicates a highly individualistic society, where people believe they should take care of themselves and maybe, their immediate family. People look out for what benefits the individual, not the group. Examples of countries with a high IDV score are Australia, England and the United States. Countries that have a low IDV prefer loyalty to the group over loyalty to the individual. Decisions are based on what is best for the group and in turn, the group looks out for its...
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