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Does Latin America exist? A Global Analysis of Cross-Cultural Differences

Publication Abstract

Inglehart, Ronald F., and M. Carballo. 2008. "Does Latin America exist? A Global Analysis of Cross-Cultural Differences." Perfiles Latinoamericanos, 16(31): 13-38.

Latin American academic programs and research centers are based on the assumption that Latin America is more than an arbitrary geographic expression: it defines a coherent cultural region, having people with distinctive values and worldviews that make them think differently and behave differently from people of other cultures. But the existence of meaningful cultural areas has been challenged from different perspectives. The question is: Does Latin America constitute a coherent cultural region? This is part of the broader question, do coherent cultural zones exist? This, in turn, involves a still more basic question: Does culture constitute a stable variable that has significant impact on political, economic and social life? Does culture matter? The World Values Surveys conducted in over 90 societies enable us to answer these questions. These survey data reveal an astonishingly high degree of constraint between the basic values held by peoples of different societies, including Latin America.

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