Taxonomies Worksheet       

  • How does learning about one’s own culture help in understanding another’s culture?
  • Why do cultural patterns change over time? What American patterns tend to be relatively stable?  Do cultural patterns change faster here than in other cultures?  Why/why not?
  • Look at Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck’s value orientations. Give an example of each value illustrating how cultures might differ.
  • Think: How do the Western notions of healing and disease relate to their belief in the dichotomy (separation) of the physical and natural worlds?
  • How does a culture’s orientation toward activity determine its orientation toward other variables such as change, efficiency, work, and progress?
  • What does Hall mean when he refers to culture as a screen for its members?
  • Define Hall’s hi/low context communication and give an example of each.
  • Identify each of Hofstede’s 5 dimensions (PD, UA, I-C, M-F, and long/short term orientation). Come up with the defining characteristics of each dimension.
  • Based on your own intercultural experience, how does Hofstede’s theory of cultural patterns hold up?
  • Look at Hofstede’s charts in the text, do you feel that these charts represent your own culture or experiences with other cultures? What countries or regions of the world are left off that should be included?  How would these rank on each dimension?
  • How are the following 2 philosophical statements related to Hofstede’s continuum of I-C:  “I think, therefore I am” (Rene’ Descartes) and “I am because we are.” (Nigerian saying)?
  • Consider a marriage consisting of people from these two cultures. How might the marriage be influenced by these disparate philosophies?
  • Ting-Toomey builds on Hofstede, as does Minkov’s study. What does each have that the other does not?  In other words, what is the greatest value/worth of Minkov (how does he expand upon Hofstede?) And next, what is the greatest value/worth of Ting-Toomey (how does she expand upon Hofstede?)
  • Gelfand’s Tight/Loose perspectives on culture is new to this text edition. What is the value in this perspective?
  • Which one (if any) of the taxonomies best explains cultural patterns? Why?
  • What does each taxonomy explain that the others do not? What are the drawbacks of each taxonomy?