Hofstede's cultural dimensions: Italian national identity in ELF usage

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review


Originally devised to account for national differences in work-related values, Hofstede’s model (2003) offers a convenient way to grasp cultural differences related to national identity on the basis of five dimensions. Recently the model has been applied by various scholars to the study of communicative and linguistic differences linked to cultural differences both across languages and in the study of English as a lingua franca within such diverse genres as calls for papers, business letters, e-mails, advertisements, commercials, websites, parliamentary speeches and doctor-patient consultations. After examining the correlations between Hofstede’s dimensions and language in previous literature, the present paper applies Hofstede’s model to the comparison of native English and English as a lingua franca as used by Italians, an area as yet unexplored in the literature, with particular regard to two comparable websites of potato crisp manufacturers, Walkers and San Carlo. The results of the present study confirm the relevance of power distance and uncertainty avoidance, already shown in a cross-linguistic perspective (Cucchi 2010; Katan 2006), to the study of ELF usage by Italians in websites, and indicate the importance of individualism/collectivism. The study therefore shows that Hofstede’s model is a valid approach to predicting and explaining linguistic differences on the basis of national identity.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)137-158
Numero di pagine22
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2010


  • Hofstede’s cultural dimensions
  • language and culture
  • website communication


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