Geert Hofstede, the cultural researcher, explains the indulgence versus restraint dimension being his six cultural dimensions and how it correlates with different factors across cultures. Indulgent societies allow free gratification of human desires, feel healthier, happier, have a perception of control, have looser sexual mores, and a leisure ethic. On the other hand, restraint societies suppress these needs, have strict social norms, lower crime rates, larger police forces, and lower birth rates. Hofstede mentions that the level of indulgence in the world has grown over the past 30 years while the number of restraint societies has diminished, but the positions of countries relative to each other have remained the same.
00:00:00 In this section, Geert Hofstede explains the indulgence versus restraint dimension, which is the sixth and most recent addition to his six cultural dimensions. Hofstede describes indulgence societies as those that allow relatively free gratification of natural human desires, whereas restraint societies suppress these needs and are regulated by strict social norms. Societies on the indulgence side tend to feel healthier and happier, have a perception of personal life control, have a leisure ethic, and have looser sexual mores. Hofstede also mentions that no absolute standard exists to measure the level of indulgence versus restraint in a society, and the difference is expressed in an index. On the indulgence side, countries include Mexico, Nigeria, Sweden, Australia, Britain, and the Netherlands, whereas France, Japan, Germany, Italy, and India are examples of countries on the restraint side.
00:05:00 In this section, Geert Hofstede explains how the indulgence versus restraint index correlates with various factors across different societies. He highlights that, in restraint societies, maintaining order in the nation is valued more highly than freedom of speech, which is more important in indulgence societies. Indulgent societies tend to have higher crime rates, obesity levels, and birth rates, while restraint societies have lower crime rates, larger police forces, and lower birth rates. The combination of the indulgence versus restraint index with the long-term versus short-term orientation index leads to an interesting division of areas in the world, with indulgent plus short-term societies mostly being in the Americas and restraint and long-term societies being in East Asia, India and Islamic countries. Finally, Hofstede notes that the level of indulgence in the world has grown in the past 30 years while the number of restraint societies has diminished, but the positions of countries relative to each other have remained the same.