||Gert Jan Hofstede (1956): I am a Dutch population biologist and social scientist in information management and social simulation, interested in the interplay of the contrasting forces of cultural evolution, societal change and cultural stability ( more under "Gert Jan").
Would you like to help? Together with partners from around the world, I (Gert Jan) work on modelling of social behaviour, including culture, in virtual (computer) characters. Creating believable behaviour that is not fully scripted in advance is quite a challenge. If you would like to contribute by playing or watching episodes and answering a few questions about them, click here:
* Buy or sell a second-hand car. We wonder which cross-cultural differences we'll see in negotiation behaviour. For any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you in advance! Check back here or at project sites www.ecute.eu (education for cultural understanding), www.semira.wur.nl (policy across countries) to know more. We are expecting good results by summer 2013. You can already see a preview of MIXER, eCute's cross-cultural learning tool for children.
|Why is culture so important? Every visitor of this site has her or his unique personality, history, and interest. Yet all people share a common human nature. Our shared human nature is intensely social: we are group animals. We use language and empathy, and practice collaboration and intergroup competition. But the unwritten rules of how we do these things differ from one human group to another. "Culture" is how we call these unwritten rules about how to be a good member of the group. Culture provides moral standards about how to be an upstanding group member; it defines the group as a "moral circle". It inspires symbols, heroes, rituals, laws, religions, taboos, and all kinds of practices - but its core is hidden in unconscious values that change at a far slower rate than the practices. We tend to classify groups other than our own as inferior or (rarely) superior. This applies to groups based on national, religious, or ethnic boundaries, but also on occupation or academic discipline, on club membership, adored idol, or dress style. In our globalized world most of us can belong to many groups at the same time. But to get things done, we still need to cooperate with members of other groups carrying other cultures. Skills in cooperation across cultures are vital for our common survival. The authors of these pages are committed to the development of such intercultural cooperation skills.
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