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Hofstede's definition:


Masculinity is the extent to which the use of force in endorsed socially.  
In a masculine society, men are supposed to be tough. Men are supposed to be from Mars, women from Venus. Winning is important for both genders. Quantity is important and big is beautiful. In a feminine society, the genders are emotionally closer. Competing is not so openly endorsed, and there is sympathy for the underdog.

This is NOT about individuals, but about expected emotional gender roles. Masculine societies are much more openly gendered than feminine societies.

The degree to which we focus on goal achievement and work, or quality of life and caring for others.

One of the aspects of this dimension is the degree to which cultures differentiate between gender roles. How this dimension is interpreted depends on the culture in which your point of view begins.


  • An achievement oriented (masculine) society is one in which social gender roles are clearly distinct; challenge, earnings, recognition and advancement are important. In an achievement oriented society, the focus is on performance and results; a competitive, even adversarial environment is not uncommon.

  • A quality of life oriented (feminine) society is characterized by overlapping gender roles; cooperation, modesty, service and compromise are valued. In a quality of life oriented society, the focus is on being unpretentious and of service to others; a supportive, collegial environment is preferred.

It is important to remember that in addition to gender role differentiation, this dimension is about a stress on ego (Achievement orientation) versus a stress on relationship with others, regardless of group ties (Quality of Life orientation).

Achievement Orientation

Man at Work

Achievement Orientation Advantage:


Emotional gender roles are clearly distinct. Men are expected to achieve, women to care. Women are more accepted at work if they adopt masculine roles.


Expectation that work takes precedence over family life; long hours are expected.


Assertiveness, competitiveness and ambition are virtues.


Resolution of conflicts by show of strength of by fighting.


Incentives that improve earnings, recognition, advancement and challenge are preferred.

Quality of Life Orientation

Man Fishing

Quality of Life Orientation Advantage:
Custom Outputs and Personal Service


Emotional gender roles overlap. Strong ambitions are unusual among men as well as women. Women are accepted at work without having to dress and behave like men.


Family life is taken into account; more regular hours are the norm.


Modesty, solidarity and helping others are virtues.


Resolution of conflicts by compromise and negotiation.


Incentives that bring improvements in benefits and other quality of life areas (as opposed to monetary rewards alone) are preferred.
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