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The Concept of Culture

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What is culture?

Culture in international business is very difficult to single out as well as put into operation though it is given an important place. How culture influences the consumer behaviour is also complex to understand on scientific basis. Many definitions are introduced to culture which is generally a vague notion. At present, some individuals depict multicultural nature by being multilinguals and dual citizens in the corporate world.

Linton (1945) defines culture as the configuration of learned behaviour and results of behaviour whose component elements are shared and transmitted by the members of a particular society. In our normal usage when we say ‘academics’ or ‘Africans’ for example, we categorize by referring to a certain group of individuals as well as their shared certain cultures. Yet, to have a deeper knowledge we need to know how they differentiate by particular inherent set of elements in culture, such as knowledge, values, morals, manners, habits, ethics, language, customs, beliefs, behaviour, flow of thought etc. with other cultures in the world.

Cultural Variations

Culture is a unique entity and it acts as a fingerprint showing a particular identity to a group of people in the society. Though there are many cultural differences among ourselves, we are not in a position to brand certain cultures as superior or inferior to others. Obviously there can be good or bad characteristics in a certain culture. Yet, it is relative to the observer with another cultural background. World view of China is based on Confucian Pragmatism with an emphasis on harmonious social order focusing the material world. World view of India is woven around Brahmanism which is centered around a higher value on inner spirituality.

If you take a look at culture related activities with a certain criteria you will get evidences highlighting what a particular culture is gifted and specialized when compared to other cultures. For example some cultures produce good mathematicians, musicians, scientists, warriors, cooks, athletes etc. Through political decisions, colonization and decolonization processes also have paved the way for new states across the world. Even once you are trying to do a comparison you can be misguided too. For instance, India has a certain country culture compared to any other country as depicted in Bollywood films. Even the subcontinent of India again is consisted of diverse ethnic and religious groups by being multicultural. Hence the national element is not always regarded as the main source of culture if you look from ‘operational culture’ perspective.

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