In response to some discussions I have seen on Wrong Planet and other ASD forums I decided to delve into the concept of an autistic culture. Having been familiar with Hofstede’s dimensions I decided to use it as a framework for dissecting what it would mean for ASD folk to be a culture or subculture and how that group would react, as a culture, to the parent cultures of their respective societies.
Listed here are the articles and resources from the series. After careful consideration I decided that ASD folk, while numerous, probably do not constitute an independent culture but are rather a subculture influenced by the national culture that they reside in. Most of the dimensions apply to the subculture with a strong response in the Uncertainty Avoidance Index dimension. The recently added Indulgence v Restraint dimension posed the most difficulties in my analysis though that may be due more to my ignorance of the dichotomy than a lack of fit.
I think it would be interesting to use the cultural tests created by Hofstede or Minkov on a population of spectrumites to see what the true measure for each dimension would be. Given the growth of the ASD population and the need to analyze culture beyond traditional ethnic, racial, national or religious grounds this would be an informative study beyond the boundaries of ASD.
I hope that you find the articles provocative, insightful or at least entertaining. Please feel free to leave comments on any one.
Introduction - discusses Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions theory
Part 2: Autism & Culture – analyzes autism as a potential culture or subculture
Part 3: Autism & Power Distance Index – an analysis of autism, ASD folk and the Power Distance Index
Part 4: Autism & Individualism v Collectivism – looks at how ASD folk might place on the Individualist v Collectivist dimension
Part 5: Autism & the Uncertainty Avoidance Index – dives into the ASD spectrumite’s anxiety with uncertainty and how it mirrors cultures on the Hofstede UAI index
Part 6: Autism & Masculinity v Femininity – a perspective on the Hofstede Masculinity index and if it applies to ASD
Part 7: Autism & Long Term Orientation – where does an ASD peson land on the Hofstede LTO dichotomy?
Part 8: Autism and Indulgence v Restraint – an exploration of autism and the recently added dimension of indulgence v restraint
Kwintessential – Discussion of Hofstede Dimensions: Jumping off point for many of their Hofstede specific resources
Wikipedia on Confucianism (applies to Long Term Orientation)
The Analects of Confucius (applies to Long Term Orientation)
Scott J. Shea is the proprietor of Job Sink, offering career advice and exploring employment issues and workplace difficulties faced by those on the autism spectrum.
Round-up: Autism & Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Theory, the ninth in a series of nine, appears here by permission.
[image via Psychology Wiki]