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Just looked at the cultural map. On what planet are Greece and Israel "protestant Europe", Uruguay "catholic Europe" and Portugal "Latin America"? Why is Romania not "catholic Europe"? Are Georgia Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey and Jordan are "South Asia"?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 19th, 2009 at 04:11:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And Switzerland is in Protestant Europe, even though they have more Catholics than Protestants.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Apr 19th, 2009 at 04:21:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good question. There's where history applies. It's not to say there aren't anomalies in the data, I'd be amazed if there weren't, however as far as Israel goes, I'd speculate that the values they largely reflect derive from the split from the areas of Eastern Europe where most settlers came from a century ago.

Mere speculation on my part. Of course their definitions, the structure of the questionaires, their basic assumptions color the study, however it's important to stress that the positions on the cultural map are hardly static. The authors point out that any tendency towards rationality can be put into reverse. Their point is that it tends to correlate to economic conditions and their place in the human development sequence (agrarian/industrial/post-industrial).

Having said that, the data explains lots and nothing at all at the same time. For instance, I might have expected that the impulse to entrepreneurship to be exaggerated in self-expressive societies, but I happen to know that in the US, immigrant communities (whether from poorer Asian or Latin America countries) are exactly as entrepreneurial as better educated, richer, North Americans.

One of the things Inglehart and Welzel postulated was that the study might have value even if complex societal values constructs could be reduced to these two scales. Of course nuance is sacrificed. Any study acccurately reflecting the true complexities in the world would reult in a replica of the world, and be totally useless.

The value derived from a study like this, I think, tends to lie in areas where societies intersect and communication, with all the promise of the mixing as well as all the risk of misunderstanding, occurs.

Public diplomacy. International relations. Cross-cultural exchange.

Nowhere in the study do the researchers make judgements about the values they describe. I would go further than they, and speculate that the irrational faith in the "American ideal" is largely what keeps the polyglot of nationalities and regional identities from flying apart.

I credit the authors with finding a valuable line of inquiry - one that should be explored further.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Sun Apr 19th, 2009 at 09:07:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
papicek:
as far as Israel goes, I'd speculate that the values they largely reflect derive from the split from the areas of Eastern Europe where most settlers came from a century ago
Such as... Catholic Poland?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 04:00:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I'm dubious of any servey that finds Israel more rational than Spain.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 07:58:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, the cultural map shows Spain, Israel and Croatia as nearest neighbours of each other, presumably within error bounds...

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 09:29:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact the geographical origin of immigrants to Israel is very heterogeneous, with an important contribution by Jews from Muslim countries: the Ottoman Empire, Yemen, North Africa, Iran, Iraq. See Wikipedia: Aliyah

You're clearly a dangerous pinko commie pragmatist.
by Vagulus on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 08:28:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
papicek:
Good question. There's where history applies. It's not to say there aren't anomalies in the data, I'd be amazed if there weren't, however as far as Israel goes, I'd speculate that the values they largely reflect derive from the split from the areas of Eastern Europe where most settlers came from a century ago.
What is remarkable is that Israel and Greece are coloured as outliers when they are not arguably part of the group they are coloured with.

They are not "Catholic Europe" either, of course, but they are "Mediterranean".

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 09:32:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why is Romania not "catholic Europe"?

Because it is overwhelmingly Orthodox?



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 10:05:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay, I stand corrected...

Romania - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The dominant religious body is the Romanian Orthodox Church, an autocephalous church within the Eastern Orthodox communion; its members make up 86.7% of the population according to the 2002 census.


Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 10:09:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(BTW, note that Catholics are even out-numbered by Protestants, if you combine their various branches. Most of these Catholics and almost all Protestants are among the ethnic minorities of Transsylvania.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 10:24:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More on strange cultural groupings: I raised my eyebrows seeing the (un-inscribed) Orthodox camp. Bosnia is only minority Muslim, but Albania is majority so. Meanwhile Baltic countries: Lithuania is clearly Catholic; in Latvia, there is no dominant religion but of the three major groups, both Lutherans and Catholics outnumber the Orthodox; while in Estonia, Lutherans outnumber the Orthodox.

And, then again, in some ex-commie countries (including Estonia), those with religious affiliations of even just the cultural kind are a minority...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 10:35:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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