Comparing Cultures Value Orientation Theory.docx

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Comparing Cultures Value Orientation
Theory
1. People in all cultures face common problems for which they must find solutions.
2. The range of alternative solutions to a culture’s problems is limited.
3. Within a given culture, there will be preferred solutions, which most people within the culture
will select, but there will also be other people who select other solutions.
4. Over time, the preferred solutions shape the culture’s basic assumptions about beliefs, values,
and norms and social practices the cultural patterns.
Orientation
Postulated Range of Variables
Activity
Being
Being-in-becoming
Doing
Relationships
Linearity
Collaterality
Human Nature
Evil
Mixture of good or evil
or neutral
People-nature
Subjugation to nature
Harmony with nature
Time
Past
Present
Future
- Each of the points along the scales represents the culture’s preferred response within a given
situation.
- Particular responses combine with the culture’s other value orientations for unique individual
and contextual outcomes.
- At the same time, these combinations generate a much greater complexity of possible cultural
values.
- The system however is useful as it provides a means of comparing cultures on a more or less
equal footing.
- Great deal of connection among categories the results in one category may suggest the result
in another.
- Example: - action orientation of doing suggests the compartmentalisation of roles / functions
(work and play) and therefore implies an individualistic social relations orientation.
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