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Hofstede & CHina


82riceballs

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I've been reading a lot about Hofstede lately since his framework is supposed to be useful in analyzing culture... but i've come across a few things that've confused me, maybe because he conducted his research in 1973 (?).

1. According to Hofstede's Individualism index, China was highly collectivist. But I think that's changed. China has changed a lot since the Cultural Revolution, and now it's a highly individualist society just like Western nations. According to Hofstede, some characteristics of an individualist society are: 1) ties b/w individuals are loose and 2) everyone is expected to look after him/herself and his/her immediate family.

Isn't that how China is (after the state retreated from people's private lives)? Would it be going too far to say that CHina is an individualist society?

2. Another dimension of society is the Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) which measures "A society's tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity; reflects the extent to which members of a society attempt to cope with anxiety by minimizing uncertainty. " China ranked below average in this category, which is indicative of a society where there are less rules and more tolerance for different/dissenting ideas. However, from what I've read, dissenting opinions were punishable during the Mao era and are still punishable to this day. Am I missing something about the UAI?

3. China's Masculinity score is 66, only slightly above average. Masculinity (MAS) reflects "The distribution of roles between the genders; the value placed on traditionally male or female values (as understood in most Western cultures)." For some reason, I've always felt that Chinese society was always extremely competitive. During the Cultural Revolution, people outdid themselves to rise in party hierarchy. Today, people compete fiercely over jobs & the college entrance exam's passing rate (purportedly) never gets anywhere close to 50%. Judging from these circumstances, shouldn't China rank a lot higher?

Thanks in advance!

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