Australia Home

Australian World View

   

Religion:

Religion usually serves a fundamental role in a national world view. The church has remained separated from the state, and also from the mainstream of ideas and culture in general. Australians, if active in religion, commonly affiliate with the Christian-based religions. Only about 25% of Australians consider religion to be "very important," in comparison to 58% of Americans. Twelve percent do not practice religion. Of those who do actively partake in religious practices, 25% practice Anglican religion, 25% Roman Catholicism, and 25% other Protestant religions. Fewer than 1% of those who practice consider themselves Jewish. The small number of people who consider religion to be important conveys a nation of little spiritual focus, and perhaps a diversely structured set of thoughts and life views (Rickard 110-132).

Hall's High/Low Context:

We consider Australia to be a low-context culture. This implies that the population is less homogeneous and more diversified. The dominant communication style of Australians is very open. A low-context culture means that the communicative messages lie in the verbal messages opposed to the nonverbal. However, Australians tend to need a lot of background information on someone in order to communication with him/her (Samovar and Porter, 81).

Hofstede's Cultural Patterns:

Australia received a score of 29 on Hofstede's scale of POWER DISTANCE. A low power distance implies that power in AUstralia is spread out to everyone instead of being reserved to a few groups. This relatively low score implies that Australians believe that they are close to power, that they should have access to that power, that the powerful and the powerless should try to live in concert with each other, and that a hierarchy is an inequality of roles established for convenience (Samovar and Porter, 70).

Australia received a score of 27 on the scale of UNCERTAINTY AVOIDANCE. This score implies that Australians do not like uncertainty, thatthey want stability for members, they strive for consensus, follow many rules, and tend to have more stress and anxiety (Samovar and Porter, 69).

Australia received a score of 2 on the INDIVIDUALISM/COLLECTIVISM scale. This is a very low score and implies that Australians promote individualism, promote personal goals over allegiance to groups, and competition is encouraged (Samovar and Porter, 66).

Australia received a score of 14 on the MASCULINITY/FEMININITY scale. This score falls somewhat in the middle, yet leans toward the masculinity side. Australian characteristics on the masculinity side include ambition, differentiated sex roles, achievement, acquisition of money, and signs of manliness (Samovar and Porter, 72).

Kluckhohn & Strodbeck's Value Orientations

In general, the Australian culture is very human dominated, future-oriented, activity-oriented, and individualistic. Having spoken to a student who studied in Australia, and having reviewed some literature, we consider this an accurate hypothesis (Samovar and Porter, 73).


World View & Cultural Classification Traditions, Holidays, Folklore, Myths
Language, Values, Proverbs * Nonverbal Issues
Australian Educational System * Australian Health Care
Improving Intercultural Competence * Entertainment in Australia * Australian Sports * Bibliography * Project Team  

Cultural e-Résumés Home Course Home
E-mail questions or comments to
mkfinney@depauw.edu
  January 26, 2001