Hofstede’s Dimensions of National Cultures Revisited: A Case Study of South Korea’s Culture

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In about thirty-five years since the first publication of Hofstede’s (1991) study on the dimensions of national cultures, people all over the world have evolved in various directions and to various extents due to the phenomenon known as globalization. The present paper aims to investigate whether within this time span South Korea, a technically and economically developed country, whose way of life is strongly influenced by Confucianism, has complied with or resisted this phenomenon. The data that will be discussed have been collected from a Korean best seller (Shin’s Please Look After Mom, 2012) that approximately covers the period in which Hofstede conducted his investigations on national cultures. Hopefully the findings will indicate that the deeply rooted values have remained almost the same, while the outer layers of culture (such as the symbols or rituals, also known as ‘practices’) have changed due to the influences exerted by the other important economic and cultural powers of the world (such as Japan, the United States or some of the European countries) Korea has come in touch with.

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