Compare and Contrast Mexico and the United States

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Table of contents

  1. Power Distance
  2. Individualism
  3. Uncertainty Avoidance
  4. Indulgence
  5. Masculinity and Long-Term Orientation
  6. Conclusion

In a country as incredibly diverse as ours, it is a very important skill to be able to communicate effectively with culturally different others. One culture that Americans can expect to encounter frequently is Mexican culture. There are many cultural differences to think about when comparing Mexico and The United States. This paper aims to identify some of those key differences using Hofstede’s cultural value dimensions.

Power Distance

Hofstede’s first cultural dimension is power distance. Power distance examines the extent of acceptance members of a society have for its unequal distributions of power. Mexico is a hierarchical society. Most people just know their place and are accustomed to that way of life and see no need to question it. Class differences are very distinct in Mexico and can define one’s day-to-day activities, lifestyles, and especially one’s employment opportunities. Class can be determined by several different things in Mexico, but we see a very strong correlation between class and race. Personally, I subscribe more with the idea that everyone is created equally, and everyone should be afforded the same opportunities in life regardless of one’s education level, socioeconomic bracket, and most importantly, one’s race. This could cause a culture bump because I may feel that it was unfair that I was not afforded the same opportunities as everyone else based on things that are out of my control. This could cause me to feel resentment toward those of a higher social status. However, it would be important for me to accept the system of social hierarchy in place in Mexico, as it is nothing personal, it just simply is, what it is.


Hofstede’s second dimension is called individualism. Americans are more likely to think in terms of ‘I and I’ rather than ‘we and us’ like Mexicans. I determined that I also lean toward the individualist value pattern. Someone of Mexican culture may see me, or other Americans, as selfish because of their tendency to think about how a certain situation would benefit themselves rather than the whole group. However, it is important for both parties to suspend any kind of ethnocentric mindsets or preconceived notions prior to the instance of communication. Doing so will help convey that you are a flexible communicator, making the process go much smoother.

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Uncertainty Avoidance

This dimension refers to the way a society handles the unknown. Do they avoid it by trying to control it? Or do they simply accept that it can’t be controlled and let nature run its course. Mexicans tend to prefer strict rules/procedures and schedules, over spontaneity and innovation. Americans tend to be more open-minded when it comes to acceptance of new ideas and trying new things. I also lean more heavily toward acceptance of new ideas. Based on this, I would say even more so than the average American. This could easily cause colleagues to get frustrated with me in a work environment. I may see flaws in the system and try to be helpful by coming up with innovative ideas to implement. However, my colleagues of the Mexican culture may take offence to that and become uncomfortable at the uncertainty this can cause. It would be important for me to take this into consideration before trying to shake things up at all. Especially if I were to have a rather low ranking with-in the company.


Hofstede’s dimension of indulgence refers to the willingness of a society to deny their impulses and desires. Mexicans love to socialize, and just have an all-around good time. American society is somewhat indulgent, however, they still tend to take a more reserved approach to things. I would say I am much more indulgent than the average American. As I have travelled to Mexico before, I can confirm that this dimension is a very accurate one. I really enjoy the social spontaneity that Mexican culture encourages. When appropriate, your Mexican counterparts can and will show you a good time.

Masculinity and Long-Term Orientation

Masculinity refers to how accepting a culture is of traditional gender roles. Mexicans and Americans will likely be able to understand each other clearly on the scales of masculinity and long-term avoidance. The dimension of long-term avoidance is how every society has to maintain some links with its own past while dealing with the challenges of the present and future. Both countries are considered normative. Both have great respect for traditions, don’t think much about the future, and often seek instant gratification.


As this comparative analysis has shown, the cultures of Mexico and the United States still have significant differences. In order to avoid any misunderstandings or ‘cultural gaps’ in intercultural interaction, they must be taken into account.

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Compare and Contrast Mexico and the United States. (2022, October 28). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 18, 2024, from
“Compare and Contrast Mexico and the United States.” Edubirdie, 28 Oct. 2022,
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