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Monday, October 21, 2013


As elaborated in Matsumoto (2001), culture is the set of attitudes, values, beliefs, and behaviours that are shared by a group of people, differ for each individual, and are communicated from one generation to the next. In order to conduct the national census, U.S. Census Bureau (2010) grouped individuals by culture in the following categories: African American, Asian and Pacific American, Hispanic American, and Native American.

According to Leonard, Freedman, Hill, Ng, Warrier, and Chu, P. (2012), many definitions have been offered for the social construct we call culture. Most emphasize the importance of learned behaviors, beliefs, values, and attitudes that are characteristic of a particular society or population (e.g., Ember & Ember, 1985; Kroeber & Kluckhohn, 1963). We prefer a definition that includes the transmission of learning, beliefs, and values through acculturation and socialization for new and future members. This definition provides the mechanism for how culture is deployed by the current generation and passed on to future generations. “Culture is defined as the shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs, and affective understanding that are learned through socialization. These shared patterns identify the members of a culture group while also distinguishing those of another” (CARLA, n.d.). Kluckhohn (1954) suggested that culture is related to society as memory is related to individuals. Hofstede has provided well-known cultural typologies to organize systematically the behaviors, beliefs, values, and attitudes of country cultures around the globe (Hofstede, Hofstede, & Minkov, 2010). Hofstede and colleagues’ (2010) most recent treatment of international culture identified five cultural dimensions (Leonard, 2012, p. 252).


Leonard, H., Freedman, A. M., Hill, C., Ng, C., Warrier, J., & Chu, P. (2012). Consulting in international contexts: Examining and testing assumptions. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice And Research, 64(4), 250-267. doi:10.1037/a0031662

Matsumoto, D. (2001). The handbook of culture and psychology. NewYork, NY: Oxford University Press.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2001). News: United States Department of Labor. Washington, DC: Author.

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