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Rule Makers, Rule Breakers

How Culture Wires Our Minds, Shapes Our Nations and Drives Our Differences
Narrated by: Katherine Fenton
Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
4 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Summary

Why are clocks in Germany always correct while those in Brazil are frequently wrong? Why are Singaporeans jailed for selling gum? Why do women in New Zealand have three times the sex of females worldwide? Why was the Daimler-Chrysler merger ill-fated from the start? And why does each generation of Americans give their kids weirder and weirder names? 

Curious about the answers to these and other questions, award-winning social psychologist Michele Gelfand has spent two decades studying both tight societies (with clearly stated rules and codes of ethics) and loose societies (more informal communities with weak or ambiguous norms). Putting each under the microscope, she conducted research in more than 50 countries and collaborated with political scientists, neuroscientists, computer scientists, anthropologists and archaeologists. Her fascinating conclusion: behaviour seems largely dependent on perceived threats. It's why certain nations seem predisposed to tangle with others; some American states identify as 'Red' and others as 'Blue'; and those attending a sports contest, health club or school function behave in prescribed ways.

Rule Makers, Rule Breakers reveals how to predict national variations around the globe, why some leaders innovate and others don't and even how a tight vs. loose system can determine happiness. Consistently riveting and always illuminating, Michele Gelfand's book helps us understand how a single cultural trait dramatically affects even the smallest aspects of our lives.

©2018 Michele J. Gelfand (P)2018 Little, Brown Book Group

Critic reviews

"A groundbreaking analysis of what used to be an impenetrable mystery: how and why do cultures differ? Gelfand shows that a wide range of divides of class, culture, and coalition are traceable to an intriguing source. Anyone interested in our cultural divides will find tremendous insight in Rule Makers, Rule Breakers." (Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of Enlightenment Now)

"Fascinating and profound... It's quite possibly this year's best book on culture." (Roy F. Baumeister, best-selling coauthor of Willpower and author of The Cultural Animal)

"This brilliant book is full of well-documented insights that will change the way you look at yourself and at the world around you." (Barry Schwartz, best-selling author of The Paradox of Choice, Practical Wisdom, and Why We Work)

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