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Cultural Analysis of Guatemala
 

Cultural Analysis of Guatemala

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  • -Guatemala has the highest Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI) Hofstede Dimension ranking of all Latin countries-As a result of their extreme low level of uncertainty acceptance strict rules, laws, policies, and regulations are adopted and implemented.-The ultimate goal of this population is to control everything in order to eliminate or avoid the unexpected.-Guatemala has the highest Power Distance (PDI) ranking among Latin countries. -This is indicative of a high level of inequality of power and wealth within the society. The US has a ranking of 46, compared to the world average of 64. A low ranking in the Uncertainty Avoidance Dimension is indicative of a society that has fewer rules and does not attempt to control all outcomes and results. It also has a greater level of tolerance for a variety of ideas, thoughts, and beliefs. -The next lowest ranking Dimension for the United States is Power Distance (PDI) at 40, compared to the world Average of 55. This is indicative of a greater equality between societal levels, including government, organizations, and even within families. This orientation reinforces a cooperative interaction across power levels and creates a more stable cultural environment. 
  • Guatemala has a low Individualism (IDV) ranking. They have a long-term commitment to the member 'group’ examples can be seen through family, extended family, or extended relationships. Loyalty in a collectivist culture is vital, and over-rides most other societal rules and regulations. The society fosters strong relationships where everyone takes responsibility for fellow members of their group. Guatemala has the largest divergence of Power Distance (PDI) to Individualism (IDV) of any country surveyed in the world, with a difference of 89 (PDI-95 minus IDV-6 = 89).The high Individualism (IDV) ranking for the United States indicates a society with a more individualistic attitude and relatively loose bonds with others. The populace is more self-reliant and looks out for themselves and their close family members.
  • Guatemala has a low Individualism (IDV) ranking. They have a long-term commitment to the member 'group’ examples can be seen through family, extended family, or extended relationships. Loyalty in a collectivist culture is vital, and over-rides most other societal rules and regulations. The society fosters strong relationships where everyone takes responsibility for fellow members of their group. Guatemala has the largest divergence of Power Distance (PDI) to Individualism (IDV) of any country surveyed in the world, with a difference of 89 (PDI-95 minus IDV-6 = 89).The high Individualism (IDV) ranking for the United States indicates a society with a more individualistic attitude and relatively loose bonds with others. The populace is more self-reliant and looks out for themselves and their close family members.
  • Collectivist culture that strongly values the family dynamicGuatemalans view their parents as ‘espejos’ (mirrors), children depend on their parents for guidance throughout their livesFamily members live in close proximity to one-another and are rarely aloneAn invitation to a party or social event would be interpreted to include children and grandparents
  • Guatemala-Traditional family dynamic may include parents, married and unmarried children and their nuclear families-Families also care for elderly relatives, and padrinos are considered an important part of the family -Women marry young in Guatemala and have many children-It is very common for women to give birth at home
  • Only 60 percent of Guatemala's population speaks Spanish; the remaining 40 percent speak indigenous Mayan languages. These dialects are spoken in many of the country's rural schools. One of Guatemala's educational goals is to become uni-lingual, which means that ideally all Guatemalans would be able to speak Spanish.
  • An enrollment of about two-thirds of those eligible to attend primary schools declines to less than one-fifth for secondary schools. The adult literacy rate is one of the lowest in Central America. In rural areas, even many of those who have attended primary schools (usually only to the third grade) are functionally illiterate as adults.
  • History of unrest and violence, Young political systemSince independence from Spain there have been a series of dictators, overthrows, sporadic elections, and military coups. The first constitution was enacted in 1985 that separated the three branches of government similar to the US. The constitution was reformed in 1993, with the peace accords finalized in December 1996 brought a formal end to a war that had lasted intermittently for 36 years. The state is weak, even by Latin American standards. Tax revenues total just 11% of GDP, depriving governments of the wherewithal to provide such basic public services as security, health care and schooling. Large Power Distance in State--Use of offices – It is expected that most elected official use their short periods in office to raise their prestige and line their pockets http://www.everyculture.com/Ge-It/Guatemala.html-Dictatorships – There was long string of dictators after the colonization of Spain so while there is currently an elected government, the country has only officially been at peace for -Scandals expected - Current president, Alvaro Colom, was accused of a hand in an assassination where the dead journalist left a videotape accusing the president. For mainly middle-class Guatemalans, the case casts doubt on the credentials of MrColom, a businessman of the centre-left elected as president in 2007, as a crusader for good government and justice. (economist)- 56 politicians or party activists were killed during the 2007 presidential campaignPower Distance not representedHigh newspaper readership – Guatemala has one of the highest illiteracy rates in Latin America at about 31 percent. Complicating matters is that large indigenous communities in Guatemala do not speak or read Spanish (close to 40 percent of the population self-identifies as indigenous). In this context, it is not surprising that newspapers in Guatemala are not as popular as TV or radio. However, in urban areas, to which this study focuses, newspaper readership is strong. Nearly 40 percent of urban dwellers surveyed said they read a newspaper daily and about 72 percent said they read a paper at least weekly. (http://www.audiencescapes.org/country-profiles/urban-guatemala/country-overview/newsprint/newsprint-253)Inconsistent leaders - With this your democracy there is a lot of transition, no party has won the presidency more than once and in every election period the majority of the parties are small and newly-formed. Even the longer-lived parties tend to last less than a decade as significant forces in Guatemalan politics. Many political parties - Also non-consistent is in large power distant countries there tends to be just one party, there are dozens in Guatemala. The power distance could reflect more on the past repressive government rather than the current, but very new democracy.
  • Collectivism – It was mentioned in several places that politics should be avoided as a topic of conversation. (http://www.everyculture.com/Ge-It/Guatemala.html)Guatemala is still a poor country which is highly correlated with low individualism.-United fruit, and American owned company, once owned 42% of Guatelamas land. The heavy-handed involvement of the company in governments which often were or became corrupt created the term “Banana Republic” representing a "servile dictatorshipFeminine State-More feminine states are more of welfare states, spending on public services, while more masculine spend on military.-Spending on military Total: USD $120 million,As a percent of GDP: 0.6% (FY99), United States was 3.0% of GDP in 1999, http://www.truthandpolitics.org/military-relative-size.php- WELFARE SPENDING???Masculine Characteristics- The use of force and violence to solve problems could also be a reflection of a more masculine culture. -Guatemala, along with Paraguay, Honduras and Brazil, has one of the lowest percentages of women legislators in Latin. Indigenous women in particular.Several of the factors that block women’s political participation which I see as symbols of High power distance:• Patriarchy and exclusion persist as the bases of societal arrangements, in which values are gauged through machoand racist socio-cultural standards that discriminate against women’s participation. This negative model and normalso perpetuates itself in the family and in interpersonal relations. • The group of women organized around gender issues is very small compared to the total number of Guatemalanwomen. The typical woman has accepted her circumstances and playing “her role”. The typical woman is notinterested in participating in politics, as she does not consider it important.Immigration - Since 1987, when the process of voluntary individual repatriation began, there has been a steadily increasing return of Guatemalans who had been living for years in neighboring countries, especially Mexico. It is estimated that some 20,000 people returned between 1993 and 1995 and since 1996, after the Peace Accords were signed, people have been returning in much larger numbers. For the most part, those who have come back have made their homes in remote jungle areas, where they are living in precarious conditions without basic services. (PAHO) This influx of Guatemalans that have been living in other cultures could be leading to a more diverse cultural context. The lack of consistency of parties - This seems very opposite to the country’s extreme high uncertainty avoidance – where people avoid the unknown. There are many protests, not expected in uncertainty avoiding cultures. But many protests are out of habit, not actually expecting change.
  • ProfileAccording to data from 1989, the proportion of the population living in conditions of poverty was 75% for the country as a whole, with 58% living in extreme poverty. Both poverty and extreme poverty are higher in rural areas and among the indigenous population, 93% of whom were living in poverty and 91% in extreme poverty in 1989. By contrast, among the nonindigenous population the proportions were only 66% and 45%, respectively. (PAHO)The health sector is made up of both public and private institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and a large sector of traditional medicine surviving from the Mayan culture, which is found mainly in rural areas among the indigenous population. Large power-distance – Fewer Doctors, use of nurses. Guatemala uses volunteers for state programFeminine Healthcare System – 10% PrivateNew National Comprehensive Health Care System (SIAS) At the national level, institutional coverage of the population is as follows: Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance, 25%; IGSS, 17%; Military Health Service, 2.5%; nongovernmental organizations, 4%; and the private sector, 10%. - Less than 60% of the population has the benefit of some form of health service coverage, and this coverage has not increased substantially since 1990, when it was 54%. A Comprehensive Health Care System (SIAS) was designed, which is now being implemented and intends to provide basic health care to the entire population that currently is without access to health services. - Basic services will be offered including (1) care of pregnant women through prenatal monitoring,; (2) child health care, vaccination, control of acute diseases, and nutritional evaluation and care of children under 2 years of age; (3) emergency and acute disease care(PAHO)- Mental health has not been given high priority in Guatemala, but for the past two years a group of governmental and nongovernmental agencies has called attention to the problem and to promotion of development of a national mental health program. There are only 375 beds in the whole country and 10 psychologists. (PAHO)
  • Western medicine has had an influence on the indigenous For example, the Maya medical term yab’ilal is used to describe a “disease for everyone” and k’oqob’al is used to describe when “someone is making you sick.” As a result of these indigenous categories, Western biomedicine has had more of an influence on diseases placed in the yab’ilal category, while those changes brought about by Catholic and Protestant missionaries have effected k’oqob’al diseases. Western medicine’s fixation on microbial and pathogenic types of diseases has resulted in its influence on “diseases for everyone”.Another component of this medical pluralism is that indigenous healers are often romantically framed in the West. They often do not know unlimited amounts of botanical knowledge, often know only a handful to several dozen plants that have medicinal propertiesIt proposes a reordering of the health sector in which the roles and functions of the state, the market, and civil society are redefined. The objective is to privatize health care at the expense of the public health services. The SIAS is based on contracting private providers and administrators for health services.The problems that have been identified in the implementation of the SIAS and the health care reform are:- It is a limited, selective, low quality package of health services.- The sustainability of the services depends on volunteers with heavy responsibilities. The health care of the poorest populations depends on volunteer workers. If the volunteer fails, the system fails unlike communities being responsible for their own healing.The rich experience of traditional resources and practices is not taken into account.-The implementation is in a vertical manner without consultation or participation with the community - Various sectors of the population are marginalized and the services are inequitable.-The doctor patient relationship is destroyed.

Cultural Analysis of Guatemala Cultural Analysis of Guatemala Presentation Transcript