Socio-Cultural Development

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The social and cultural environment Paul Wetherly Contents Introduction: what is the social and cultural environment? What has it got to do with business? Society, culture and business Demographic trends—an ageing population Immigration and multiculturalism Class structure Inequality A woman’s place? Looking ahead Summary Case study: decline of the working class? 123 150 152 152 153 153 153 Review and discussion questions 125 128 132 135 139 145 149 149 Assignments Further reading Online resources References 05 122 Environments X Learning objectives When you have completed this chapter you will be able to: l Explain the nature of the social and cultural environments, and their importance for business Analyse…show more content…
For example, it is quite common to speak of ‘western culture’. This term implies that there are certain values and ways of life that western societies might be said to share, such as: l Secularism—this refers to the increasing influence of rational and scientific thought, and the decline of religion as a framework of understanding and guide to behaviour. Consumerism or materialism—this refers to the view that achieving higher levels of consumption of goods and services leads to greater happiness. A good life means having more ‘stuff’. This attitude lies behind the belief that economic growth is always a good thing. Individualism—this usually refers to the idea that individuals make their own life-style choices and are motivated primarily by self-interest. It can also involve the idea that individuals should strive to be self-reliant. l l However these attitudes or values vary in strength between western societies (e.g. UK society is more secular than the United States), and they also have their own distinctive cultural traits. For example, ‘Britishness’ might be said to include (among other traits): l l l an attitude of reserve (e.g. compared to American outspokenness) a sensitivity to class differences (as expressed by accent and manners) a sense of fair play. 124 Environments A game of cricket on the village green—is this the meaning of ‘Britishness’? ©
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