Comparing Cultures – Value Orientation
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.
Postulated Range of Variables
Mixture of good or evil
Subjugation to nature
Harmony with nature
- Each of the points along the scales represents the culture’s preferred response within a given
- 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
- The system however is useful as it provides a means of comparing cultures on a more or less
- Great deal of connection among categories – the results in one category may suggest the result
- Example: - action orientation of doing suggests the compartmentalisation of roles / functions
(work and play) and therefore implies an individualistic social relations orientation.