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The perils of parsimony. "National culture" as red herring?

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Title: The perils of parsimony. "National culture" as red herring?
Author: Macfadyen, Leah P.
Subject Keywords Hofstede;national culture;functionalist paradigm;Hacking;Hall;dynamic nominalism;articulation
Issue Date: 2008
Publicly Available in cIRcle 2008-08-09
Citation: Proceedings, Cultural Attitudes to Technology and Communication, Nimes, France, June 2008.
Abstract: This paper discusses the ways in which Hofstede’s model of ‘dimensions of (‘national’) culture’ – and similar models developed in a functionalist paradigm – are problematically used to classify people. It briefly surveys critiques of Hofstede’s research method, but focusses on the dangers of attempting to develop models of culture within a functionalist paradigm. Although such models may be parsimonious and rapidly applied, I argue that they are a poor fit for CATaC investigations of the dynamic and reciprocal interactions between human cultures and technology. Instead, I contend, we must abandon this paradigm, and embrace methodologies that permit meaningfully explorations of the multiple and dynamic conditions influencing the field of cultural practices in human societies. I discuss the merits of ‘articulation’ as theory and method, and offer Hacking’s theory of “dynamic nominalism” as one example.
Affiliation: Skylight
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/1335
Peer Review Status: Peer-Reviewed

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