Cultural Change

coca-colaIn my new role as Curriculum Design Officer for Horizon International Schools, I’ve been thinking about how culture affects education. I’m reading Geert Hoffstede’s classic study Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, Third Edition. Lately I’ve been mulling over his contention that,

There are many things in societies that technology and its products do not change. If young Turks drink Coca-Cola, this does not necessarily affect their attitudes toward authority. … In the sphere of values–that is, fundamental feelings about life and about other people–young Turks differ from young Americans just as much as old Turks differ from old Americans. There is no evidence that the values of present-day generations for different countries are converging.

Recent events in Turkey make me wonder if cultural values are more malleable than Hoffstede allows.