Values, Culture, and the Economic Integration of Latin America and North America : An Empirical Perspective on Culturalist Approaches

ARMONY, VICTOR: art38], PAUL LAMY et ANDRÉ TREMBLAY (2004) : « Values, Culture, and the Economic Integration of Latin America and North America : An Empirical Perspective on Culturalist Approaches », Diálogos Latinoamericanos (Center for Latin American Studies, Université d’Aarhus, Danemark), nº 9.

Abstract

With democratization and economic liberalization in Latin America, structural and a mixture of structural and institutional explanations for problems related to economic growth, global competitiveness, and distribution of wealth no longer appear as convincing as they did several decades ago. Attempts to deal with these issues in cultural terms have assumed increasing importance. Culturalist approaches run the risk of exaggerating the degree of cultural homogeneity. Especially when culturalists are using the vocabulary of civilization differences as their model of cultural distinction. Differences between and within regions and countries in Latin America are often ignored to reinforce that hypothesis. This paper presents an analysis of the 1995-1997 World Values Surveys. These data were found to show more diversity than is usually acknowledged in culturalist approaches to Latin American issues – for example, some Latin American countries were found to be closer to the U.S. on certain value dimensions than to other Latin American countries. We discuss the implications of these findings

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