Assignment: Cultural Dimensions
Conflict often occurs because people are different. They have different values, needs, and perspectives and are often from different cultures. In order to resolve a conflict, it is helpful for each party to understand the conflict from the other party’s point of view. Cultures are frequently classified by their geographic location in Western or non-Western parts of the world. They also are categorized by individualist and collectivist value systems. Chapter 16 in the online book, Peace, Conflict, and Violence: Peace Psychology for the 21st Century, explains the differences between Western and non-Western cultures as well as the distinction between individualist and collectivist value systems. Psychologist Geert Hofstede acknowledged individualism-collectivism as one potential difference between cultures. In his research, he identified a total of five cultural differences that he termed dimensions. The five dimensions are power/distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty/avoidance, and long-term orientation. Each dimension is described in detail in the assigned article, “Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions.” Comparing countries on the five dimensions is helpful in understanding conflict and conflict resolution between countries.
To prepare for this assignment:
- Review the assigned pages from Chapter 16 of Peace, Conflict, and Violence: Peace Psychology for the 21st Century. Focus on Western and non-Western models of peacemaking.
- Review the article, “Culture and Conflict.” Note the values in individualist and collectivist settings.
- Review the article, “Culture-Based Negotiation Styles.” Pay attention to the way that different countries approach negotiation.
- Review the article, “Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions: Understanding Workplace Values Around the World.” Notice the differences between each dimension of culture.
- Select two countries that have been or currently are in conflict.
- Compare the two countries using the cultural dimensions interactive index.
- Consider the role of culture in the conflict that you selected and how dimensions of culture might influence the resolution of the conflict.
The assignment: (1–2 pages)
- Briefly describe the two countries that you selected and the conflict in which they are engaged. Explain why you selected them.
- Compare the two countries on the following dimensions: collectivism-individualism, masculinity-femininity, power distance, long-term orientation, and uncertainty avoidance.
- Explain what insights you had or conclusions that you might now draw about the countries and/or the conflict between them based on your comparison.
- Explain the role that culture plays in this conflict and how dimensions of culture might influence the resolution of the conflict.
- Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list only for those resources not included in the Learning Resources for this course.