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Is National Culture a Meaningful Concept?

Is National Culture a Meaningful Concept? Although many cross-cultural studies have used nations as the units of analysis, the concept of national culture has been challenged on various grounds. One objection is that there may be significant cultural diversity within some countries and similarities across national borders, compromising the concept of national culture. This objection has little empirical support. We used latest World Values Survey data and found that 299 in-country regions from 28 countries in East and Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Anglo world overwhelmingly cluster along national lines on basic cultural values, cross-border intermixtures being relatively rare. This is true even of countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, or Mexico and Guatemala, despite their shared official languages, religions, ethnic groups, historical experiences, and various traditions. Even the regions of neighboring African nations, such as Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Mali, do not intermix much when they are clustered on the basis of cultural values. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Cross-Cultural Research: The Journal of Comparative Social Science SAGE

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References (23)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 2012 SAGE Publications
ISSN
1069-3971
eISSN
1552-3578
DOI
10.1177/1069397111427262
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Although many cross-cultural studies have used nations as the units of analysis, the concept of national culture has been challenged on various grounds. One objection is that there may be significant cultural diversity within some countries and similarities across national borders, compromising the concept of national culture. This objection has little empirical support. We used latest World Values Survey data and found that 299 in-country regions from 28 countries in East and Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Anglo world overwhelmingly cluster along national lines on basic cultural values, cross-border intermixtures being relatively rare. This is true even of countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, or Mexico and Guatemala, despite their shared official languages, religions, ethnic groups, historical experiences, and various traditions. Even the regions of neighboring African nations, such as Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Mali, do not intermix much when they are clustered on the basis of cultural values.

Journal

Cross-Cultural Research: The Journal of Comparative Social ScienceSAGE

Published: May 1, 2012

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