Dimensions of Culture

Dimensions of Culture
Meeting 10
Culture Types
• Mediated stories and images
• Culture industry as economic resource
• Business / corporate culture; may conflict
with employee’s societal culture
• Organizational culture - set of meanings
• Groups w/ characteristic culture (religious)
• Families with traditions
Culture Transmission
• Culture is patterns of meanings embodied in
• Primary symbol is language
• Print capitalism created imagined
• Transnational TV, Internet creating world
language for business in English
Protection Strategies
for cultural products
1. Quotas - limit imports, preserve
expressions of national identity
2. Subsidies and grants - government support
for film and TV development
3. Regional alliances - co-produced films
4. Program adaptation - use formats and
production values on local productions
Resistance Measures
• Recording own videos (Brazil)
• Ownership of TV channels (Isreal)
• Legislation to prohibit advertising in spliltrun editions with US (Canada)
• Ban on direct broadcast satellite (China,
Journalist’s Role
• Empiricist concept of objectivity under
attack for assuming a single truth
• Enduring values built into news judgment;
values and opinions enter unconsciously
• News culture is revealed in formats:
voiceovers, outtakes, sound bites, stand-ups
Cultural Conflict
• Many groups feel they are buried by global
culture and corporations
• Kurds have no nation-state
• Med-TV establish as voice of Kurdish
people in all countries
• Discontinued for arousing anger
• Cultures struggle to preserve a distinctive
Hybrid Culture and Media
• Melting pot concept - give up some cultural
distinction for democratic rights
• Hybridity occurs when traditions are modified
• Cultural identity is fluid and dynamic
• Histories change and develop as they blend
• Dominant culture takes on traditions of migrants
• Media fusion in all forms directed a culturespecific audiences
Culture Onion
• Symbols - words, pictures, gestures, objects
that are learned; global brands
• Heroes - possess prized characteristics;
serve as role models for behavior
• Rituals - essential collective activities
• Values - broad tendencies to prefer certain
state of affairs over another
Cultural Nuances
Selective perception - focus on certain
features of environment excluding others
What does it mean to perceive things
according to our cultural map?
Stereotyping - put people into categories
Why is necessary for advertising to
Thinking patterns,
Intellectual styles
• Linear, external logic, intuition, duality &
digital thinking is Western
What are bipolar scales?
• Pattern recognition, synchronicity and
analog are Eastern
• Intellectual styles: Gallic, Teutonic,
Saxonic, Nipponic
• Learning as critical thinking or memorizing
Body Language
• Facial expressions
• Behavioral habits
• Gestures: greetings, beckoning, insulting,
• Use of space and closeness between people
• Visual point of view
• Music and rhythm
• Relativist - local situation has large impact
• Universalist - ignore taboos, go with trends
Rules: Choose national colors; blue for
Northern hemisphere, green for southern
Color Taboos
White - funerals in China, red for brides
Black - mourning, widow wear in Europe,
aggression for teens
Orange - trendy, extreme sports, boats, highway
Yellow - bottom of preference list (yellow
journalism, yellow Jewish star, cowardly)
Silver - space-age, high tech, neutral, elegance; most
popular auto color
Purple - Royalty
Cultural Context
High-context - information part of
internalized message; implicit. Symbolic
advertising. Eastern
Low-context - explicit verbal message.
Yes/no orientation. Western.
Mixed - France has blend of hi-lo institutions
and situations
Dimensions of Time
Includes biological, personal, metaphysical, micro,
sync, sacred, profane
• Long vs short term thinking
• Time as healer
• Orientation toward past (Europe), present (East
where all are equal), future (disposable in US)
• Linear vs Circular
• Monochronic (low context) vs polychronic
• Cause & effect vs holistic
• Time as symbol (cue up = M time)
Relationship to Nature
1. Mastery over nature - man must conquer
2. Harmony with nature - man co-exists
with; no distinction between human life,
nature and supernatural (Japan)
3. Subjugation to nature -man dominated by
Hofstede’s 5 Dimensions
1. Power Distance - social hierarchy vs.
2. Individualism (private & public) /
collectivism (particularistic, common
3. Masculinity (achievement values)
/femininity (caring values)
4. Uncertainty avoidance - feel threatened by
ambiguity; conflict and competition are
• Strong UA countries use hands, drive fast
5. Long-Term - persistence, ordering by status,
thrift, sense of shame. Vs.
Short-term orientation - personal steadiness,
protecting face, tradition, reciprocation of gifts
Cultural Identity in Slovenia
• Distancing selves from ‘Balkans’ of
violence and chaos, poverty, dirt
• Young cannot identify with parents
communism or Yugo-nostalgia
• 1980s - art and rock bands pop icons
• 2002 - youth apolitical, consumer-oriented
• Globalized culture is pro-West everything