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Russians Cultural Specificity (An Ethnometrical Analysis Based on Geert Hofstedes Concept)

N.V. Latova, Candidate of Sociology leading researcher, ,
mailto: NLatova@gmail.com
Russians Cultural Specificity (An Ethnometrical Analysis Based on Geert Hofstedes Concept).
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2016. Vol. 7. No. 4. P. 155-179

DOI: 10.19181/vis.2016.19.4.433

This Article is downloaded: 258 times
Topic: Worldview of Modern Russians

For citation:
N.V. Latova. Russians Cultural Specificity (An Ethnometrical Analysis Based on Geert Hofstedes Concept). Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2016. Vol. 7. No. 4. P. 155-179
DOI: https://doi.org/10.19181/vis.2016.19.4.433


An ethnometrical analysis of Russians’ cultural traits implies analyzing quantitative assessments of the respondents’ commitment to certain values. In order to define Russians’ cultural specifics, G. Hofstede’s ethnographical method is utilized (VSM94). According to the results of an all-Russian survey conducted in March-April 2010, Western indexes such as “individualism” and “power distance” are typical to Russia, i.e. the very same indexes which polarize the world, dividing it into “East” and “West”. At the same time a high level of “uncertainty avoidance” is observed in Russia, something which is not even inherent to most Eastern countries, together with a low “masculinity” index, which places our country into a unique position not only when compared to Western nations, but also when compared to most Eastern states. Such significant misalignment of those indexes which characterize the basic foundation of national culture not only displays Russia’s specificity yet again, it also calls for a more comprehensive analysis of whatever stands behind this misalignment. While carrying out this analysis, the author examines the separate components of those indexes which are utilized in G. Hofstede’s method (each one of these indexes us based on testing four basic values). It is concluded that most Russians accept those norms which underlie Hofstede’s characteristics such as “power distance” and “individualism”, which indicates the firm “European roots” of Russian culture. The similarities between these indexes in Western countries and in Russia substantiate the claim that Western formal institutions (legal norms, organizational structures) would be positively received by Russia’s public consciousness. At the same time such characteristics as “masculinity” and “uncertainty avoidance” are heterogeneous, which indicates there being certain contradictions in the public consciousness when it comes to values. Formulated are hypothesis on the tendencies for shifts in Hofstede’s Russian culture characteristics: “power distance” will be stable, “individualism” and “masculinity” might increase, while the tendencies for shifts in “uncertainty avoidance” are not clear. The heterogenic characteristics of “masculinity” and “uncertainty avoidance” should apparently level out in keeping with the situation in Russia becoming more stable. However, the economic crisis, which arose in 2014, is unlikely to contribute to these two indexes becoming distinctly articulated any time soon.


etnometry, cultural specificity of the Russians, value homogeneity, value heterogeneity, modernization, Geert Hofstede.


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