The French Culture Essay

973 Words Nov 13th, 2014 4 Pages
The French seem to have a reputation that precedes them: sophisticated, eloquent, and maybe even a little pompous. While the stereotype itself may not be so interesting, the reasoning behind the stereotype has always sparked curiosity. Why do particular cultures develop these stereotypes and are there any truth behind them? With Hofstede’s dimensions we are able to objectively study a culture and draw our own conclusions as to why it is perceived a certain way and how it came to be. At about 58 million people and 250,000 square miles, France is a small but dense country, and so it may come as a surprise that it scored so high on individualism. According to Hofstede’s research, however, France has a score of 71. The high score indicates that they in fact value the individual and immediate family over the collective society as a whole. After thinking it through further it makes sense, as most European and other western cultures score high on individualism. We can see a high value of the individual reflected in several aspects of French culture. For example, most French citizens have 5 to 6 weeks of paid government vacation and a 35 hour work week. In addition no one works on Sundays, even businesses are closed— a true day of relaxation. In general, cultures who score high on individualism score lower on power distance. On the contrary, France has a score of 68 in terms of power distance index, essentially the same as its score for individualism. This is strange only because…

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