The Role of Culture

  • Nancy Lubin
Part of the St Antony’s/Macmillan Series book series (STANTS)


If income differentials are perhaps the overriding factor colouring labour force distribution by nationality, they are not the only factor. Cultural attitudes and traditions also partly determine the preference for particular occupations among the different nationality groups. In the preceding sections, the employment distribution by nationality was approached mainly as the result of external circumstances, that is, as the result of different demographic behaviour among the nationalities, different educational levels, place of residence and proximity to industrial centres, incomes, and some element of discrimination against one or another of the nationalities. Yet differences in behaviour are determined by internal, or cultural, as well as by external sets of factors. Even where external circumstances may be identical, groups of people often behave differently because of attitudinal differences or differences in tastes, values and aspirations.


Labour Force Female Labour Force Participation Occupational Choice Cultural Attitude Indigenous Woman 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    D. Moynihan, and N. Glazer, Ethnicity (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1975), pp. 12, 14 and 17.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See Louis Schneider and C. M. Bonjean, The Idea of Culture in the Social Sciences (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973) Introduction. Culture is defined as ‘that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society’, (p. vi). As Talcott Parsons notes in the same volume, all human societies are interpenetrated with culture. The task is to systematically analyse the structure of culture systems and the way they are expressed in different societies.Google Scholar
  3. A. Brown, Introduction in A. Brown and J. Gray (eds) Political Culture and Political Change in Communist States (New York: Holmes & Meier Publishers, Inc., 1979).Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    C. Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures (New York: Basic Books, 1973) p. 10.Google Scholar
  5. 9.
    Quoted in L. K. Shek, Vospitanie ubezhdennogo internatsionalista (Tashkent: Uzbekistan, 1974) p. 100.Google Scholar
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    Quoted in M. F. Soldatov, Trudovoe vospitanie mass (Tashkent: Uzbekistan, 1972) p. 93.Google Scholar
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    M. I. Kulichenko, Natsional’nye otnosheniia v rasvitom sotsialisticheskom obshchestve (Moscow: Mysl’, 1977) p. 53.Google Scholar
  8. M. I. Kulichenko, Rastsvet i sblizhenie natsii v SSSR (Moscow: Mysl’, 1981) passim.Google Scholar
  9. 15.
    Olaf Caroe, Soviet Empire: The Turks of Central Asia and Stalinism (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1967) p. 215.Google Scholar
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    E. Bacon, Central Asians under Russian Rule (New York: Cornell University Press, 1966) p. 187.Google Scholar
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    James C. Scott, The Moral Economy of the Peasant (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976) pp. 35–7.Google Scholar
  12. 24.
    See Giuseppe Pennisi, Development, Manpower and Migration in the Red Sea Region (Hamburg: Deutsches Orient-Institut, 1981)Google Scholar
  13. B. Hansen and S. Radwan, Employment Opportunities and Equity in a Changing Economy: Egypt in the 1980s (Geneva: International Labour Office, 1982). Hansen’s study notes an aversion to manual work represents a ‘social value which is affecting the education and training system. Technical education and vocational training are frowned upon by the population as a second class type of education’. As he adds with regard to Egypt ‘social values may be the factor which has the strongest impact on the education and training system’ today (p. 225).Google Scholar
  14. 26.
    J. S. Birks and C. Sinclair, ‘Manpower in Saudi Arabia, 1980–85’, in R. El Mallakh and D. El Mallakh (eds) Saudi Arabia (Toronto: Lexington Books, 1981) p. 163.Google Scholar
  15. 29.
    Quoted from T. Shabad, ‘Some Aspects of Central Asian Manpower and Urbanization’, Soviet Geography, February 1979, p. 114.Google Scholar
  16. 30.
    See also M. I. Kulichenko, Natsional’nye otnosheniia v razvitom sotsialisticheskom obshchestve (Moscow: Mysl’, 1977): ‘The steadfastness of labour and family traditions in significant measure still orients the indigenous nationalities of Central Asia and Kazakhstan to a rural way of life.’Google Scholar
  17. 31.
    A. Vambery, Russia Observed (New York: Arno Press, 1970).Google Scholar
  18. 32.
    Eugene Schuyler, Turkestan (New York: Praeger, 1966) pp. 21–2.Google Scholar
  19. 35.
    In 1973, for example, Arutiunian echoed the necessity for research in this field by analysing, albeit quite generally, motivations towards work and value orientations of different nationality groups in the USSR (see I. V. Arutiunian, Sotsial’naia i natsional’naia (Moscow: Nauka, 1973) passim.) Other Soviet scholars addressed the issue more tangentially in the course of works on other topics.Google Scholar
  20. For example, see T. R. Abdushukurov, Zakonomernosti i osobennosti kul’turno-tekhnicheskogo rosta rabochego klassa Uzbekistana, (Tashkent: Fan 1971). Abdushukurov analyses problems connected with labour activity, but not attitudes towards work per se.Google Scholar
  21. 47.
    L. K. Shek, Vospitanie ubezhdennogo internatsionalista (Tashkent: Uzbekistan, 1974) p. 185.Google Scholar
  22. 49.
    For example, see E. Iu. Iusupov (ed.) Iz opyta partiinoi propagandy v Uzbekistane (Tashkent: Uzbekistan, 1976) p. 146. In 1973 alone, he notes, more than 6400 lectures were delivered in factory collectives in Uzbekistan on these themes.Google Scholar
  23. 50.
    See Christel Lane, The Rites of Rulers: Ritual in Industrial Society — The Soviet Case (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981).Google Scholar

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© Nancy Lubin 1984

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  • Nancy Lubin

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