NAME: YAKUB HASSAN YAKUB
LECTURER: DR.MIKHAIL GROMOV
ASSIGNMENT: TERM PAPER
Table of Contents
TOC o “1-3” h z u Introduction PAGEREF _Toc508830289 h 2Cultural Dimensions and How Kikuyu Relate to Them PAGEREF _Toc508830290 h 3Individualism/Collectivism PAGEREF _Toc508830291 h 3Uncertainty Avoidance PAGEREF _Toc508830292 h 3Power Distance PAGEREF _Toc508830293 h 4Masculinity/Femininity PAGEREF _Toc508830294 h 4Long- and Short-Term Orientation PAGEREF _Toc508830295 h 5Human Nature Orientation PAGEREF _Toc508830296 h 5Person / Nature Orientation PAGEREF _Toc508830297 h 6Time Orientation PAGEREF _Toc508830298 h 7Activity Orientation PAGEREF _Toc508830299 h 7Relational (Social) Orientation PAGEREF _Toc508830300 h 8Hall’s High-Context and Low-Context Orientations PAGEREF _Toc508830301 h 8Face and Facework PAGEREF _Toc508830302 h 9Summary PAGEREF _Toc508830303 h 10Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc508830304 h 11References PAGEREF _Toc508830305 h 12
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IntroductionCultural dimensions are the theories and frameworks that different people use in their communication interaction within themselves as well as with other people as well the specific attributes of the culture in question. Kenya is a country that has diverse physical features as well as rich and diverse speaking people. In total the country has at least forty three tribes (cultures). In this East African country the largest tribe is the Kikuyu. In total is constitutes about 23% of the total population of about 40 million people. The essence of this essay is to clearly explain the cultural dimensions of the Kikuyu tribe of Kenya. This will be done by going through the twelve cultural dimensions. These are; Individualism/Collectivism, Uncertainty Avoidance, Power Distance, Masculinity/Femininity, Long- and Short-Term Orientation, Human Nature Orientation, Person / Nature Orientation, Time Orientation, Activity Orientation, Relational (Social) Orientation, Hall’s High-Context and Low-Context Orientations, Face and Facework. The writer of this essay will briefly explain what is contained in each of these dimensions. This will then be followed by an explanation of how the Kikuyu culture of Kenya perceives and interact in relation to each of the above mentioned cultural dimension. The various value dimensions will be the sub heading that the writer uses to explain the Kikuyu culture.
Cultural Dimensions and How Kikuyu Relate to ThemIndividualism/CollectivismIn this section we look at whether the culture of choice looks at making group decision or love group work, or are more concentrated on looking at own self in working in the society. The individualistic societies prefer individual competition among each other, personal rights are more expressed, airing of one’s opinions is encouraged, privacy, and expression of one’s opinions is respected. On the other hand collectivists’ societies look more upon on communal collaboration, common interests, harmony, tradition, as well the public wellbeing, in addition to keeping appearance CITATION Mic02 l 1033 (Hills, 2002).
The Kikuyu who were originally found in the Central part of Kenya are now also found in Nairobi as well as most parts of the country. They are considered as a very industrious culture and are therefore engaged in business ventures all around the country. However, in their business interaction, they are seen to engage in a communal collusion with each other. It is not surprising to see family businesses clustered next to each other for support. In Addition, the Kikuyu who are business are seen to help each other to prosper in business. From an interview with some Kikuyu taxi operators who are outside USIU-Africa they confessed that they would rather see another Kikuyu prosper in business than have another tribe prosper.
Uncertainty AvoidanceUncertainty avoidance deals with a society’s acceptance of the uncertain or the ambiguous; this therefore means that it seeks to find man’s search of what is true. In essence it shows to what level a culture programs the members to feel either contented or unsatisfied inn unstructured conditions; which are considered to be unknown, surprising, unusual, novel as well as different from what is normal. Those cultures that are high uncertainty avoidance reduce the probability of such situations by enforcing strict laws, regulations on the working of the society. On the other hand low uncertainty avoidance cultures give a greater leeway on the rules and regulation that govern the unknown situation CITATION Mic02 l 1033 (Hills, 2002).
In terms of uncertainty avoidance, the Kikuyu are seen as a high uncertainty avoidance culture. They would go to great lengths to ensure that all that they engage in would prosper. They try to put strict measures that are directed at the prosperity of what they are doing. This further shown by their superstitious nature that makes them carries a lot of rituals to ensure that their ventures prosper. This is seen by the many prayers that the Christian Kikuyus engage in as well as the traditional rituals for those that follow traditional Kikuyu culture CITATION Orv08 l 1033 (Jenkins, 2008).
Power DistanceThe power distance measures the level to which the people that are less powerful members of an organization or institution accept that there is an unequal distribution of power. In this respect it looks that the inequality and whether it is more or less. This level of inequality is accepted and expressed by both the leaders and followers within that society CITATION Mak09 l 1033 (Making Sense of Cross Cultural Communication, 2009).
In relation to the power distance, the Kikuyu is one that has high power distance. This is because there is a great divide between that very rich Kikuyus and they that are very poor. There is also no interaction or very little if any interaction between those powerful Kikuyu and the less powerful on. However, the little communication that is present is such that it is not mutually beneficial but passive from the side of the powerful Kikuyus. This means that the less powerful Kikuyu though they support the rich ones they do not actually get to benefit from the relation CITATION Kik15 l 1033 (Hoppe, 2015).
Masculinity/FemininityMasculinity versus its opposite femininity refers to the level of distribution as well as the overlapping of roles between the male and the female genders within a society. It has been established that the values of women differ less among societies where men’s values are emphasized. On the other hand men’s values have been seen to be containing a touch of assertive, competitive, and generally opposing from the women’s values which have been explained to be modest, caring and nurturing CITATION Mak09 l 1033 (Making Sense of Cross Cultural Communication, 2009).
In terms of masculinity and femininity, the Kikuyu have been witnessed to be a more Masculine culture. This is because they have clear laid out roles for the males as well as the women. The male are consider mostly being the provider of the family and they are also expected to be a strong protector of the family against danger. On the other hand the woman is supposed to take care of the family and also ensure that the home is always in order. The woman is supposed to show love to the husband and ensure he has what he needs. On the other hand, the husband also has to be strong and provide the woman with both physical as well as emotional needs. This requirement may be the reason for the basic violence that has been seen in parts of Kikuyu land like Nyeri where women feel sidelined CITATION The15 l 1033 (The Gale Group, 2015).
Long- and Short-Term OrientationThe long term versus short term orientation sought to distinguish between the differences in thinking between the West and the East. They difference between the East and Confucian teaching versus the West and the belie f in tradition. The characteristics of the long term orientation culture was found to be persistent, giving and maintaining order in relationships, carefulness, and maintaining a sense of shame. The short term oriented cultures on the other hand maintain a level of personal steadiness as well as stability, keeping of face, having respect for tradition, reciprocation on greetings, favor and gifts CITATION Mic02 l 1033 (Hills, 2002).
The Kikuyu have been considered to be a more short term oriented people. This is primarily because they geared towards having relations that are steady. They have also in many instances been explained to having a strong look at the face of adversity. The Kikuyu have also been explained as a people that seek to attain favors and gifts in their working relation. They expect what in Kenya is referred to as “kitu kidogo” which is essentially a bride to be received to the help that they offered another individual. This is as the writer of this essay has experienced with Kikuyus.
Human Nature OrientationIt seeks to establish the basic nature of people. They have generally been subdivided in to three subdivisions. Evil (people cannot be trusted; they are generally evil and have to be controlled). Mixed- good and bad (There are both evil and good people in the world. There is therefore need to check and establish which they are. With the right directions, people can be changed). Good (Most people are basically good at their core, they are born with goodness) CITATION DrR00 l 1033 (Zaharna, 2000 ).
In terms of human nature the Kikuyu are seen to be people that believe that human beings are at their core evil beings. This was established from interviewing a couple of my Kikuyu friends who believe that no good come out of a person. They additionally think that all actions that people take are guided by ulterior motives. They therefore are always seeking to get the most out of every situation as quick as they can so that they do not get injured or harmed by the bad intentions of the people involved CITATION Jen03 l 1033 (Finke, 2003).
Person / Nature OrientationThis seeks out the relationship that is appropriate between man and nature. Man has been seen to take these three roles, being subordinate to nature (people really cannot alter nature; life is generally determined by external forces like fate or family. Things happen how they are supposed to). Harmony with nature (man ought to in all means be at harmony with nature). Domination over nature (it is a great human task to conqueror and direct nature; everything present that is good resulted through meeting this role) CITATION Tom01 l 1033 (Gallagher, 2001).
As previously explained, the Kikuyu are a very industrious people. They seek to exploit every profit making opportunity as quick as they can. This therefore means that they are considered to be dominating over nature, in their relations with nature. They always try to maximally exploit nature to profit in terms of money. This has had them leaving the nature in the places that they live to be in a deplorable state. The kikuyu are also explained as always wanting to the boss of each and every situation they engage in. It is no surprise that even from the time of colonization in Kenya; it is the Kikuyu that took the initiative of being the leaders of the Mau Mau rebels that fought against the colonialists. Even today one way or another, Kikuyus are found to be majority of leaders in most organizations CITATION Kik15 l 1033 (Hoppe, 2015).
Time OrientationHow well best people think about time. There are three time orientations. Past (people ought to learn from history, draw positives, and strive to continue past actions into the future). Present (the “now” is the most important in all. No need to worry about tomorrow, rejoice today. Future (Planning and preparing enables people to drastically improve what they are doing; sacrificing something will ensure the success of tomorrow) CITATION DrR00 l 1033 (Zaharna, 2000 ).
As pertains to time orientation, the Kikuyu are expressed to like to be more inclined to living in the present. They prefer to get the maximum gratification from the situations that they are at in now rather than wait for an uncertain future or a past that already ended. They concentrate in working hard to ensure that they there is continuity in the processes that they engaging in. some of the Kikuyu women interviewed explained that this is why there are many quarrel between widowers of dead Kikuyu men that failed to plan for their succession after their death. Additionally, most of the Kikuyu taxi drivers around USIU-Africa would rather get quick unfair money now from an unsuspecting client rather than foster a life time customer.
Activity OrientationThis orientation tires to establish the most important modes of activity, which are three in nature. Being (it is sufficient just to be. It is not necessary to accomplish greatness in life in order to be fulfilled). Becoming (the real reason of being in this earth is for the inner development of the specific person). Doing (in hard work and full immersion in activities there would be great success. Success in this life is a measure of the effort put in what you are doing) CITATION Tom01 l 1033 (Gallagher, 2001).
In terms of the activity orientation, the Kikuyu are explained to be people who concentrate in doing. As seen before they are a very hard working people. They are always of the belief that they would always look to work extra hard to ensure that they prosper. It is not surprising to see that there are many stories of from rugs to riches (for example the late Njenga Karume who started from being a charcoal seller to becoming an influential millionaire). This belief that hard work results in success is the belief that resonates among most Kikuyu CITATION Jen03 l 1033 (Finke, 2003).
Relational (Social) OrientationThis orientation tries to establish the best form of social organization in society. Hierarchical (there is an acceptable right order to relations, some people lead while others follow; decisions ought to follow these structures). Collateral (the best organization of a group is where everyone shares in decisions. Important decisions ought not to be made alone). Individual (Each person ought to have equal rights; each person has complete control in their fortune, each person to have one vote in decision) CITATION DrR00 l 1033 (Zaharna, 2000 ).
With regards to the Social Orientation, the kikuyus are explained to be a people that are hierarchical. This is mainly because they concentrate of having clear channels for interaction between their people. It is no wonder that from the past they have put people in age groups depending on their gender or years. Additionally, they also maintain of the structures that relate to the names with regards to a child being named after their father as well as follow the clan relations that they have had since the long past years CITATION The15 l 1033 (The Gale Group, 2015).
Hall’s High-Context and Low-Context OrientationsHigh context orientation people have close relations and connections over a long period of time. Here there are many aspects in behavior which are not made explicit since most of the members are aware of what they ought to do and think since they have had long interactions. On the other hand low context oriented people normally have many connections but for smaller durations because of varying reasons. Here the culture and beliefs ought to be clearly spelled out so as the people interacting with them has an easy time CITATION Dan08 l 1033 (Kim, 2008).
In terms of the high context or low context orientation, the Kikuyu are explained a low context orientation people. This is because; they are explained to look at relationships in terms of the present value. They would rather have very many relationships now that are of value at the moment. At the time that a relation becomes useless to them they terminate it in search of new beneficial ones. Some of the interviewed Kikuyu men explained that they at time marrying from other culture that are inclined to a more long term relationships, than some Kikuyu women who look at men in regards to how much money they have now. The writer of this essay got this information from the interaction he had with people looking for potential spouses.
Face and FaceworkThis concept seeks to establish the portrayal of the self that people are allowed to see as well means that people use to create the portrayal that they make. Therefore, in this regard individualistic society people usually speak directly and honestly so as to always give a true portrayal of them. On the other hand communal cultures seek to establish long term relations for the ultimate benefit of all they therefore seek to always be polite in communication no matter whatCITATION Fab09 l 1033 (Chevalier, 2009).
Last but not least, in terms of face and facework, the Kikuyu are explained to be people who people who are always looking to be seen as powerful from their outlook even to their perception. They always proud of being associated with the Kikuyu culture and therefore always speak in their native Kikuyu language whenever they can. It is no wonder that they were the first tribe to come up with a Kikuyu Radio Station. Additionally, the Kikuyu are also very proud of both their Kikuyu movies as well as songs which they always want to be associated with CITATION Orv08 l 1033 (Jenkins, 2008).
SummaryThe Kikuyu are a culture that primarily depend vigorously on Agriculture basically horticulture. They are engaged in the growing of bananas, sugarcane, arum lily, yams, beans, millet, maize, dark beans and an assortment of different vegetables. They likewise keep livestock which are cattle, sheep, and goats. They utilize the hides from the cows to make bedding, shoes, and conveying straps and they raise the goats and sheep to use for religious penances and cleaning. In the Kikuyu society young men and young ladies are raised in an unexpected particular way. The young ladies are brought to work up in the family and the young men for the most part work with means of provision for their families. The young ladies additionally have the obligation of dealing with a child sibling or sister furthermore helping the mother out with family unit errands. This is apart from the education expectation that both the males and females presentlyCITATION Kik15 l 1033 (Hoppe, 2015).
In the Kikuyu culture family character is carried on by naming the first kid after the father’s dad and the second after the mother’s dad. The same goes for the young ladies; the first is named after the father’s mom and the second after the mother’s mom. Taking after youngsters are named after the siblings and sisters of the grandparents, beginning with the most established and attempting to the most youthful. Alongside the naming of the youngsters was the conviction that the perished grandparent’s soul, that the kid was named after, would come into the new tyke. This conviction was lost with the increment in life-compass on the grounds that by and large the grandparents are currently still alive when the youngsters are conceived CITATION Kik15 l 1033 (Hoppe, 2015).
In spite of the fact that they are customarily agrarian individuals and have believe for being persevering individuals, a great deal of them are currently included in business. The greater part of the Kikuyu still live on little family plots however a large number of them have likewise seen the open doors in business and have moved to urban areas and distinctive zones to work. They have a yearning for learning and it is trusted that all kids ought to get a full training. They have a staggering notoriety for cash administration and it is basic for them to have numerous endeavors at one time. The Kikuyu have additionally been dynamic politically. The Kikuyu are a culture that is both diverse as well as very distinctive as seen in the above essay CITATION Kik15 l 1033 (Hoppe, 2015).
As seen above there are very distinctive cultural dimensions that are established in the way that they interact with each other as well as with other people. These dimension of their culture both act as a help as well as disadvantage to the Kikuyu in their interaction with each other as well as with other cultures. The writer of this essay therefore this topic could be instrumental in providing information that would enable both the Kikuyu better interact with other communities as well as other communities to interact with them.
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