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Cultural Dimensions

Every culture has their own unique cultural dimensions.  This is evident in the way people communicate, make decisions, create relationships, and express themselves (along with many other cultural dimensions).  Also, within these cultural dimensions there are underlying factors that contribute to the structure of a culture.  That being said, there is a strong relationship between cultural dimensions and a society’s values and norms.  Depending on whether a culture is individualistic or collectivistic is a key component to how a particular society or culture establishes and maintains relationships.  This in turn leads to communication within a culture.  Another key component in establishing cultural dimensions is recognizing whether a culture uses high context or low context communication.  Also, power distance is something that determines how a culture functions.  Power dynamics and the relationships formed from them are essential in how the culture acts as a whole.

These three key elements therefore aid in forming a society’s values and norms.  Every country is different even if some share similar values.  It is important to recognize these three elements when taking a culture into consideration.  There are a lot of judgements and stereotypes formed when one doesn’t take these things into account.   The way that cultures are able to create values and norms based on these elements shows just how important they are.

This is manifested in US American culture through the fact that we live in an individualistic society.  Most Americans share the value of self interest in one way or another.  Because of this, Americans strive to be recognized individually.  There are constant competitions and people are often rewarded for doing things on their own.  We as Americans also value privacy.  Many Americans can agree that privacy is one of the most important values in our society.  If everyone can mind their own business and continue living their life on their own terms, everybody wins.  This aspect in American culture has in turn created the way we communicate and establish relationships with one another.  There are many other values and norms that have been formed because of our individualistic and our low context communication.  The way we view power is also a determinant of how Americans live their daily lives.

Although I haven’t been in Morocco and know very little of Morocco, these three components probably do create a basis for how the Moroccan culture is.  From what we have been discussing in classes, in our readings, and in the book we read, it is clear that things are very different in Morocco –  from how they show affection to how they view genders.  One thing that I have always considered is that trying to understand the key elements of a culture will open many opportunities for anyone looking to step outside their comfort zone.  I think it is important to consider these things when traveling to different countries because it will make for a better experience, not only for us as students, but also for our hosts and the country as a whole.  Gnaoua-by-cafeclock.com_-1000x520

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