ONE: The Cultural Map of the World
The following is a ‘cultural map’ of the world based on extensive surveys and research. But, like the surveys/research conducted by Richard Lynn, this may also be biased. Nonetheless, I found it interesting. “This map reflects the fact that a large number of basic values are closely correlated; they can be depicted in just two major dimensions of cross-cultural variation. Each country is positioned according to its people’s values and not its geographical location. To a large extent the two coincide, but the map measures cultural proximity, not geographical proximity. Thus, Australia, Canada, the U.S. and Great Britain are cultural neighbors, reflecting their relatively similar values, despite their geographical dispersion.”
The importance and influence of religion in the society, more specifically in the legal authority, is plotted on the Y-axis. Apparently, “A wide range of other orientations are closely linked with this dimension. Societies near the traditional pole emphasize the importance of parent-child ties and deference to authority, along with absolute standards and traditional family values, and reject divorce, abortion, euthanasia, and suicide. These societies have high levels of national pride, and a nationalistic outlook”
The X-axis essentially represents personal wealth. “Self-expression values give high priority to environmental protection, tolerance of diversity and rising demands for participation in decision making in economic and political life. These values also reflect mass polarization over tolerance of outgroups, including foreigners, gays and lesbians and gender equality. The shift from survival values to self-expression values also includes a shift in child-rearing values, from emphasis on hard work toward emphasis on imagination and tolerance as important values to teach a child. And it goes with a rising sense of subjective well-being that is conducive to an atmosphere of tolerance, trust and political moderation. Finally, societies that rank high on self-expression values also tend to rank high on interpersonal trust”
A few things to observe here:
1. India lies almost on the point (0,0). That is what I expected.
2. Such studies sometimes seem to me to be overwhelmingly generic, particularly when extremely diverse cultural scenarios of India are grouped into one single dot while tiny European nations are treated separately
3. The Scandinavian countries always rank high in all the good things!
4. India is, according to this map, slightly more ‘secular-rational’ than USA
5. Zimbabwe, Zambia etc are non-Islamic countries. But these have been grouped with Islamic countries to get a big blob at the left-bottom corner. This almost forces one to think that the Islamic Countries, as a whole, are worse than the Christian and Tribal Africa.
TWO: The British View of the World
Since I have already posted an American view of the world, I thought of posting this one, too.