A review of the sociocultural profile of Cyprus: Historical background, current features, change and diversity

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Abstract

This paper aims to draw a sociocultural profile Cyprus by analysing the historical social background of the country, presenting results on key theoretical values' dimensions and briefly discussing their impact on work related attitudes, diversity and change in the Cypriot society. This description has been lacking and could provide those interested in the society of Cyprus a fresh look on its characteristics. By doing this, the paper also attempts to answer the question of where Cyprus, a country situated in at the crossroads of three diverse continents, falls in terms of its cultural characteristics. It is suggested that, historically, Cyprus has been a conservative society where the family had a central role, antagonistic relationships between unrelated individuals were common and low trust mentality in social relations was prevalent. In theoretically defined Hofstede dimensions, Cyprus scores around the world average on individualism, medium to high on power distance, masculinity and long term orientation and very high on uncertainty avoidance. In the World Values Survey, the results of Cyprus were close to the middle of the axes on survival vs. self expression values and traditional vs. secular values (but somewhat shifted towards the more conservative sides of both axes). This outlook influences work related attitudes which include more emphasis on material rewards and job security. Relating to change and diversity in the Cypriot society, it has been suggested that, there have been significant changes in family structure and characteristics. It is also noted that differences in values seem to exist between individuals that studied in the UK and US compared to locally trained employees.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Cyprus Review
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

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