The purpose of writing Using Geert Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions to Describe Cultural Differences between First Generation and Second Generation Vietnamese in the Vietnamese Church in America is to affirm the existence of cultural differences within the Vietnamese American church between first generation and second generation Vietnamese Americans. The comparison is based on the categories of national cultural values according to Hofstede's research and measurements at the individual level. The acknowledgment of those cultural differences will help church leaders build effective communications and understanding and hence consolidate church unity.
Cultural differences between two generations in Vietnamese American church have created challenges in effective communications and in ministries working together amongst the congregation and at the leadership level. Ignorance of those conflicts and neglecting to find solutions make the existing gap broadened and hinder the mission of the church. Drawing from scores Hofstede's study gave for Vietnam and for the US on the five cultural dimensions, the present research showed how close the degree on an individual level for first generation and second generation Vietnamese Christians is reflected the measurement on the national level with respect to each dimension.
In order to verify the hypotheses of this research, an instrument called HCD-VCA Survey, tailored for the Vietnamese American church context was created. This tool composed of twenty statements with four statements per each cultural dimension, and had the participant rate every statement on a six-point Likert scale. Each set of four statements and their associated scores considered as subscores was compared between the first generation and second generation group.
Result from survey data confirmed the distinct difference of standpoint for each cultural dimension between the first generation and second generation Vietnamese Christians in the church. First generation group tends to more readily accept the high power distance, has tendency toward high collectivism, toward masculinity, stronger uncertainty avoidance, and toward short-term orientation than second generation group. Their standpoints relating to power distance dimension and collectivism/individualism dimension reflected the national cultural values of Vietnam and the US according to Hofstede's research.
The findings of present research ascertained the existence of cultural differences between the first generation and second generation Vietnamese Christians within the Vietnamese American churches. This primary issue needs to be acknowledged adequately and studied systematically. It is important for church leaders to have full knowledge of culture-related issues in order to identify any cultural tension encompassed in other problems in the church. Church leaders must find ways to narrow the cultural difference gap between the two generations in order to reinforce church unity. The establishment of English language ministry for young people also needs to be encouraged and supported in every Vietnamese American church.
|Commitee:||Chan, Frank, King, Paul, Sanders, Martin|
|School:||Nyack College, Alliance Theological Seminary|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Asian American Studies, Cultural Resources Management, Theology|
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