A General Review on the Culture of Hong Kong and Japan Through the Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Theory

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A General Review on the Culture of Hong Kong and Japan through the Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Theory Cultural dimensions theory, developed by Geert Hofstede's, describes how a society’s culture affects the values of its members, and how these values relate to their behaviour. The theory proposed six dimensions: power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism-collectivism, masculinity-femininity, long-term and short-term orientation, and the latest dimension, indulgence and self-restraint which was added in 2010 edition of Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. Yet in this essay, only the first four dimensions will be discussed since the first four dimensions shows the distinct difference between Hong Kong and Japanese culture. First of all, power distance dimension. This dimension can be defined as the degree to which the acceptance of the less powerful cultural members towards the decisions and actions made by its power holders. This dimension is also used to explain a culture’s attitude towards the unequal distribution of power. Hong Kong scores 68 on the power distance index(PDI), which is regarded as high. That means the Hong Kong society believes that it is acceptable for inequalities to exist among people, and this is more likely to polarise the subordinate-superior relationship. We always regard Japan as a highly hierarchical society because of its social setting and actions. For example, they have to use honorifics when they are talking to superiors. On the contrary, Japan scores 54 on PDI which is regarded as a mildly hierarchical society. One of the reasons maybe the historical background. Having a big influence under the Chinese and colonial culture background, the Hong Kong society established an attitude, that is to obey the superior. Take the teacher-student relationship as an example. Even nowadays the relationship of teachers and students seems becoming less subordinate-superior, students are rarely challenge and question the...
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