Background of the theory
The value that eventually were associated with Schwartz's cultural orientations wer first derived from a survey of the literature that yielded an extensive list of 56 or 57 single value items from which he formulated the seven cultural value orientations and relations among them.Schwartz then proceeded to analyze and tese the validity of those orientations and relations through the collection of data from 1988 to 2000 from samples of elementary school teachers and college students in more than 50 countries.
Schwartz generated scores on each of his cultural value orientation for all 76 of the national groups identified and included in his survey work and then analyzed those scores to determine whether they provided for support for the existence of culturally distinct world regions.
There are 57 item values questionnaire,45 value items with equivalent meaning in within country analysese,and the data from dominant cultural group:teacher and students in most countries-average increase reliablity.There are 76 cultural groups and 74 countries with all inhabited continents which represent 79% world pop[http://isdc.huji.ac.il/ehold10.shtml#E2)]
Main idea of the theory
There are 7 cultural dimensions in Schwartz theory:harmony,embeddedness,hierarchy,mastery,affective autonomy,intellectual autonomy,egalitarianism.
Embeddedness VS Autonomy:Embeddedness appears in situations where individuals are embedded in a collectivity and find meaning through social relationships,through identifying with the group,participating in its shared way of life,and striving toward its shared goals.In embeddedness societies personal interests are not seen as different from those of the group and high value is placed on preserving the status quo and avoiding individual actions or attitudes that might undermine the traditional order of things.Important values in such societies are social order,respect for tradition,security,obedience and wisedom.While autonomy refers to the situation where individuals are viewed as autonomous.bounded entities that are expected to cultivate and express their own preferences,feelings,ideas,and abilities and find meaning in their own uniqueness.Autonomy is further broken down into two categories:intellectual autonomy which refers to the independent prusuit of ideas ,intellectual derections and rights;affective autonomy,which refers to the independent pursuit of affectively positive experiences such as varied life,pleasure and enjoyment of life.
Hierarchy VS Egalitarianism:In hierarchical societies individuals and the resources associated with society are organized hierarchically and individuals within those societies are socialized to comply with the roles assigned to them in the hierarchy and subjected to sanctions if they fail to comply.Modesty and self-control are values associated with hierarchy.In egalitarian societies individuals are seen as moral equals and everyone shares the same basic interests as human beings.In egalitarian societies people are socialized to internalize a commitment to cooperate and to feel concern for everyone's welfare.Valued associated with egalitarian societies include socail justice and caring for the weaker members of the society,honesty,equality,sympathy and working for the good of others,social responsibility and voluntary cooperation in the pursuit of well-being or prosperity for others within the society.
Mastery VS Harmony:Mastery refers to the situation wher individuals value succeeding and getting ahead through self-assertion and proactively seek to master,direct and change the natural and social world to advance their personal interests and the interests of the groups to which they belong.Specific values associated with mastery include independence,fearlessness and daring,ambition and hard work,drive for success and competence.Harmony refers to the situation wher individuals are content to accept and fit into the natural and social world as they find it and seek to understand,preserve and protect it rather than change,direct or exploit it.Important values in societies where harmony is valued include world at peace,unity with nature,and protecting the environment.
Here are the conclusions of Schwartz theory:cultural value orientations can be inferred form mean values of individuals in societies;world composed of cultural regions,linked by history,geography,economics,religion;knowing how cultures differ gives tools for specific analysis of issuses in international contact;cultural value orientations relate in reciprocal causaltiy with key social structural,political,demographic features of society.
Evaluation of the theory
There are a lot of things I could learn from Schwartz theory.Compared with Hofstede theory,it looks much more things in the theory.And all the data come from 76 nation groups which helps me to konw more things about other countries and other people.Schwartz was still working with his theory after retiring which also make me surprised.I think because of his insistance,this theory could be so good to read and to learn.
A lot of persons are familiar with Hofstede five dimensions:power distance,invidualism-collectivism,masculinity-femininity and uncertainty avoidance.But if you have read about the Schwartz 7 cultural dimensions,you will find it could be better to help you to learn about culture and other countries.As all the results are coming from different countries which helps us to widen our eyes and without limitation.
Schwartz theory will be very helpfull for our cross culture studies,it could help us to learn more traditional things of other countries and to develop our communication skills if we could learn about the dimensions of different countries.
Applying the theory
When I apply the theory,the most important thing is to remember the 7 culture dimesions carefully and to know about the definition and values of different dimensions.It is very important to help us to identify persons and countries.
On the other hand,I need to remeber the 76 countries groups on seven culture dimensions,this map could help me to classify the countries and to to konw the countries.Such as Finland,from Egalitarianism aspect,I could found that it has a high score in this dimension which is the second among all the other countries.From this aspect,we could konw that Finland is a country which respect everyone and everyone could be equal in their eyes.
When you want to apply the theory,I believe this map could help you a lot and it could help you to increase the awareness of other countries.