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Boston College
PSYC 4470
Christoph Richter

Chantz Delgado Organizational Behavior December 10, 2012 The Breakdown of My Heritage One’s heritage has a strong affect on how the person reasons and comprehends. I am Puerto Rican and Dominican and I was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. It is difficult to understand my heritage because it was heavily influenced by the culture of New York. Both of my parents were born and raised in the Bronx but their parents were raised in their respective cultures. Due to Geert Hofstede’s Cultural Dimension Theory, I can easily compare both cultures on an intellectual level. In order for me to fully understand my own culture, I interviewed my parents. They provided me with enough insight to use the guidelines given by Hofstede and solidly compare both cultures. Hofstede’s eight dimensions of a culture are based on the Power Distance, Individualism, Collectivism, UncertaintyAvoidance, Masculinity, Femininity, Long-Term Orientation, and Short-Term Orientation. The idea concerning Power Distance is that it expresses the degree to which the less powerful members of a society accept and expect that power to be distributed unequally. The fundamental issue here is how society deals with the unequal treatment. People in societies that have a large degree of power distance accept a hierarchical order in which each societal class has a job to do. In societies that have a low power distance, people are constantly striving to equalize the distribution of power. In terms of the Puerto Rican culture, I believe that they have a high degree of power distance because they are an unincorporated territory of the United States. The United States owns Puerto Rico but they are somewhat separate. The society in Puerto Rico understands that they do not control themselves and they welcome that.According to my mother, some Puerto Ricans have a problem with the US control in their homeland but most feel safe. Many Puerto Ricans feel as that the United States is a “big brother” that helps them and deals with all the issues. Since the majority of the people are okay with this, it fits well under the definition of a Power Distance with a high degree. They accept the hierarchical order and they understand that they are not in power. This idea is present in the homes of the Puerto Ricans too. The Puerto Rican side of my family puts a lot of emphasis on family and respect. The older you are, the more respect you demand.As children, we are taught that this idea is correct and anything different is odd. We accept that the power is not in our hands and we do what we are told to do. Puerto Rico would have a high degree of power distance and thus constitutes an 8/10 on this dimension. Dominican Republic is a nation in the island of Hispanola. Dominican Republic is ruled by a dictator and due to my interview with my father, I came to the conclusion that Dominican Republic should receive a high degree on the Power Distance dimension. They accept the rules that their dictator, Rafael Trujillo presents and they do not attempt to fight for anything because they feel as if their dictator knows best. However, many people do not agree with some of Trujillo’s decisions but they do not fight against his word. My father told me that many of my ancestors loved their homeland so much that they would not want to bring problems there. They believed that it was the most perfect place on earth. Therefore, if I had to rank Dominican Republic, it will receive a 9/10 on the Power Distance dimension scale. The next dimension discussed in Hofstede’s theory is concerning Individualism versus Collectivism. The high side of this dimension is called Individualism. This is defined as the preference for a loosely knit social framework in which individuals are expected to take care of themselves and their immediate families only. On the flipside, the low end of this dimension, Collectivism represents a preference for a tightly-knit framework in society in which individuals can expect their relatives or members of a particular in-group to look after them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty. In terms of the Puerto Rican culture, they are more focused on the idea of collectivism because of their expectation on the United States to look after them in exchange for loyalty. My Puerto Rican side of the family is extremely loyal people. For instance, my mom was telling me a story about her pre-teen years and how much she argued with her cousins but anytime there was a problem involving another person outside the family, they would put their problems aside and basically gang-up on the outsider. Loyalty is extremely important in the Puerto Rican culture and thus constitutes a 2/10 on the Individualism versus Collectivism dimension. However, the culture in Dominican Republic is different. Their culture falls under the idea of an individualistic culture. Their social framework is pretty loose and the individuals are all about family and nothing else. My father will do anything for his family. Loyalty to his family comes first and this is evident in the culture of the Dominican Republic.Additionally, what gives Dominican Republic a high degree on this dimension is the fact that it is ruled by it’s own people. They are independent and one dictator rules them.As a result, they deserve a 6/10 on this scale, which puts them at the lower end of Individualism. The reason why they are not higher is because although they can pretty much get away with anything in Dominican Republic, there are still some strong laws that limit the people due to the rule of the Dictator. Nonetheless, my family speaks off of experience and they made it know
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