Monday, June 13, 2011

Cross-Cultural Psychology

The last few days have been quite hectic.  On Tuesday night I went out dancing with the girls from the the class.  It was really fun.  It's certainly different than going out in the U.S.  Besides the music being more hispanic I noticed that women here do not dance together like they do back home.  In fact we were the only girls who danced without a partner.  This could be because of the more stringent gender roles.  It's common to see couples around Peru holding hands and being quite intimate in public but aside from this Peru is also a more masculine country according to Hofsteade's dimensions.  On the right is a graph showing the data from Peru taken from a massive study done in the 70's.  MAS refers to the level of Masculinity, this can be defined as in difference in values among genders.
      PDI symbolizes power distance.  Power distance is the degree to which the lower class accepts the ruling of the higher class.  This is quite interesting because as you can see Peru scores moderately high on power distance.  When I first got to Peru the presidential elections were taking place.  Many of the people I talked to seemed to dislike the extreme divide between rich and poor.  On our trip to the Pachacamac ruins we saw entire neighborhoods made of shacks.  On the contary, the Miraflores part of Lima is very western and spanish influenced.  There was even a Starbucks around the corner from our hotel, yet outside these places you see children begging for money. 
     IDV refers to the level of individualism which is very low in Peru.  This means that Peru is a collectivistic culture.  This is characteristic of other South American cultures as well.  In individualistic cultures the person is independent and the self is emphasized.  In collectivist cultures the self is defined by relationships in order to form an interdependent self idenity.  In this case the group emphasized.
    UAI refers to uncertainty avoidance which is really high in Peru according to the study.  Uncertainty avoidance is a culture's tolerance for uncertainity and ambiguity.  This means that the people of Peru desire stability and not surprisingly so are looking for stricter laws and harsher punishments.
It should also be noted that most of the population in Peru is Catholic so these religious view have a strong influence on the countries on government and economic system.

No comments:

Post a Comment