Summary of Comparative Theory of Culture

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EurAsia Competence has developed a model to understand cross-cultural interactions. Understanding starts with the intrinsic universal tendencies shared by all humans, but at some point cultures diverge and the differences can seem to outweigh the similarities. That’s where the misunderstandings begin, and it’s also where EurAsia Competence hopes to be able to bridge the gap. getAbstract recommends this fact sheet from EurAsia Competence to those who want to increase their cross-cultural competence in an increasingly globalized world.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the natural environment influences culture and tradition,
  • How cultures differ in terms of closeness and distance, and
  • Which differences you might encounter in a closeness-based versus a distance-based culture.

About the Author

Hans J. Roth spent 30 years as a Swiss diplomat in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. He is currently chairman of the board at EurAsia Competence.



Each region in the world has a unique natural environment that influences the evolution of culture and tradition, which emerge as a means of surmounting complications that arose in that region’s distinct context. People create institutions – political, scientific, economic – to help to organize their lives, and culture influences these institutions. When trying to understand cultural differences, it helps to first understand which level of society produced the difference. Culture is present at all levels in society – individual families, towns, cities, and countries. When making comparisons between cultures, failing to note which level generated an institution or tradition will lead to an inaccurate view of those cultures.

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