On “Nationology”: The Gravitational Field of National Culture

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenÜbersichtsarbeitenForschung

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On “Nationology” : The Gravitational Field of National Culture. / Akaliyski, Plamen; Welzel, Christian; Bond, Michael Harris; Minkov, Michael.

in: Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Jahrgang 52, Nr. 8-9, 10.2021, S. 771-793.

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenÜbersichtsarbeitenForschung

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@article{4e890b5a1983478494eefc27dec0ec6a,
title = "On “Nationology”: The Gravitational Field of National Culture",
abstract = "Nations have been questioned as meaningful units for analyzing culture due to their allegedly limited variance-capturing power and large internal heterogeneity. Against this skepticism, we argue that culture is by definition a collective phenomenon and focusing on individual differences contradicts the very concept of culture. Through the “miracle of aggregation,” we can eliminate random noise and arbitrary variation at the individual level in order to distill the central cultural tendencies of nations. Accordingly, we depict national culture as a gravitational field that socializes individuals into the orbit of a nation{\textquoteright}s central cultural tendency. Even though individuals are also exposed to other gravitational forces, subcultures in turn gravitate within the limited orbit of their national culture. Using data from the World Values Survey, we show that individual values cluster in concentric circles around their nation{\textquoteright}s cultural gravity center. We reveal the miracle of aggregation by demonstrating that nations capture the bulk of the variation in the individuals{\textquoteright} cultural values once they are aggregated into lower-level territorial units such as towns and sub-national regions. We visualize the gravitational force of national cultures by plotting various intra-national groups from five large countries that form distinct national clusters. Contrary to many scholars{\textquoteright} intuitions, alternative social aggregates, such as ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups, as well as diverse socio-demographic categories, add negligible explained variance to that already captured by nations.",
keywords = "cultural homogeneity, culture, identity, nation, units of analysis, Politics",
author = "Plamen Akaliyski and Christian Welzel and Bond, {Michael Harris} and Michael Minkov",
year = "2021",
month = oct,
doi = "10.1177/00220221211044780",
language = "English",
volume = "52",
pages = "771--793",
journal = "Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology",
issn = "0022-0221",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "8-9",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - On “Nationology”

T2 - The Gravitational Field of National Culture

AU - Akaliyski, Plamen

AU - Welzel, Christian

AU - Bond, Michael Harris

AU - Minkov, Michael

PY - 2021/10

Y1 - 2021/10

N2 - Nations have been questioned as meaningful units for analyzing culture due to their allegedly limited variance-capturing power and large internal heterogeneity. Against this skepticism, we argue that culture is by definition a collective phenomenon and focusing on individual differences contradicts the very concept of culture. Through the “miracle of aggregation,” we can eliminate random noise and arbitrary variation at the individual level in order to distill the central cultural tendencies of nations. Accordingly, we depict national culture as a gravitational field that socializes individuals into the orbit of a nation’s central cultural tendency. Even though individuals are also exposed to other gravitational forces, subcultures in turn gravitate within the limited orbit of their national culture. Using data from the World Values Survey, we show that individual values cluster in concentric circles around their nation’s cultural gravity center. We reveal the miracle of aggregation by demonstrating that nations capture the bulk of the variation in the individuals’ cultural values once they are aggregated into lower-level territorial units such as towns and sub-national regions. We visualize the gravitational force of national cultures by plotting various intra-national groups from five large countries that form distinct national clusters. Contrary to many scholars’ intuitions, alternative social aggregates, such as ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups, as well as diverse socio-demographic categories, add negligible explained variance to that already captured by nations.

AB - Nations have been questioned as meaningful units for analyzing culture due to their allegedly limited variance-capturing power and large internal heterogeneity. Against this skepticism, we argue that culture is by definition a collective phenomenon and focusing on individual differences contradicts the very concept of culture. Through the “miracle of aggregation,” we can eliminate random noise and arbitrary variation at the individual level in order to distill the central cultural tendencies of nations. Accordingly, we depict national culture as a gravitational field that socializes individuals into the orbit of a nation’s central cultural tendency. Even though individuals are also exposed to other gravitational forces, subcultures in turn gravitate within the limited orbit of their national culture. Using data from the World Values Survey, we show that individual values cluster in concentric circles around their nation’s cultural gravity center. We reveal the miracle of aggregation by demonstrating that nations capture the bulk of the variation in the individuals’ cultural values once they are aggregated into lower-level territorial units such as towns and sub-national regions. We visualize the gravitational force of national cultures by plotting various intra-national groups from five large countries that form distinct national clusters. Contrary to many scholars’ intuitions, alternative social aggregates, such as ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups, as well as diverse socio-demographic categories, add negligible explained variance to that already captured by nations.

KW - cultural homogeneity

KW - culture

KW - identity

KW - nation

KW - units of analysis

KW - Politics

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85114741365&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/00220221211044780

DO - 10.1177/00220221211044780

M3 - Scientific review articles

AN - SCOPUS:85114741365

VL - 52

SP - 771

EP - 793

JO - Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology

JF - Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology

SN - 0022-0221

IS - 8-9

ER -

DOI