I’m reading the excellent Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (of Blink and Tipping Point fame). The section I’m currently reading is referring to work on international cultures by Geert Hofstede.

The is where a lengthy questionnaire is put to large numbers of people from different countries in an attempt to determine the attitudes of that culture on average.

Some of the scores calculated include:

  • Low vs. High Power Distance – the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organizations expect and accept that power is distributed unequally.
  • Individualism vs. collectivismindividualism is contrasted with collectivism, and refers to the extent to which people are expected to stand up for themselves and to choose their own affiliations, or alternatively act predominantly as a member of a life-long group or organization.
  • Masculinity vs. femininity – refers to the value placed on traditionally male or female values (as understood in most Western cultures). So called ‘masculine’ cultures value competitiveness, assertiveness, ambition, and the accumulation of wealth and material possessions, whereas feminine cultures place more value on relationships and quality of life.
  • Uncertainty avoidance – reflects the extent to which members of a society attempt to cope with anxiety by minimizing uncertainty.

Now, I find this fascinating but would rather not attempt to read the "600 page phone book" as one Amazon review put it that this is collected in. Like my philosophy research I am keen, but lazy. πŸ™‚

Is there any chance that people either have come across this before in a more accessible way or that they know someone who might have an idea where I could look?

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