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Culture As A Way Of Life In Mexico

1572 words - 7 pages


For Mexico, culture is a way of life. The 100 million citizens take pride in their history, ethnicity and lifestyle. Many people around the world are aware of Mexico’s religious tradition in Catholicism, have heard of “Poncho” Villa and have eaten Mexican food, but are unaware that the culture stems much deeper. While the collective image of Mexico may not be absolute to all individuals, the data that has been collected gives a close reality to the overall cultural framework. To help interpret the complex society, Geert Hofstede, Alfons Trompenaar and Project GLOBE data can be consulted.

By analyzing a wide variety of data, several characteristics of Mexico’s ...view middle of the document...

One thing to remember is that the dimensions of individualism and collectivism may not be opposing, but may be considered complimentary to each other because they can often been seen working together.

According to Hofstede, Mexico has a low ranking of individualism of 30 compared to other Latin countries, which have an average score of 21. Trompenaar scores Mexico with 43 points, tying them with Japan and ranking them as the second lowest country in this dimension (below Egypt). These low scores indicate that Mexico is a collectivist society that is community oriented rather than self-seeking. One interesting thing to note through Hofstede’s findings is that Latin Catholic countries score significantly lower in this dimension then Protestant West counties. Today, Mexico has the largest number of Catholics in the world, which has been increasing ever since Hernán Cortés took control in the Post-Classic period (901-1521).

Project GLOBE researchers approached this dimension in two ways. First, they looked at the degree to which institutional practices encourage a collective distribution of resources (societal collectivism). In this measurement, Mexico received a 4.92, where higher scores indicate more collectivism. The second way that collectivism is looked at though in-group relationships, which is the level of loyalty to family and organizations. Mexico received a 5.95 in this dimension, on a seven point scale, ranking lower than only thirteen countries.

Communitarians grow up in a family based intimate social context where people are likely to share the reward from their efforts. This view of relationship to a group implies that the state is sovereign and its people work towards satisfying the needs of society. Mexican pride and nationalism has given the country cohesiveness and national unity. One example of Mexican pride in their political system is the Revolution of 1910 seen by the amount of followers and leaders. However, this may also been see as somewhat individualistic because the followers were fighting for “real” freedom. But again, the overarching movement was equality of opportunity for all citizens. (6) Other ways that Mexicans show loyalty to their country include fiestas and national holidays.

In Mexico, one’s family is considered a private affair. On the contrary, the U.S. does little to separate public image and private family life. Mexican families rely on the political structure and Catholic hierarchy for a family model. The mother of the family, similar to the role of the priest or president, acts as a mediator between the children and the father. Because the family is a closed structure, and it is not uncommon for three or four families to live under one roof, children often have few friends outside of siblings and cousins. The extended family is expected to look after each other medically, financially and socially. (4)

When doing international business with Mexicans, people of other cultures should...

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