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The Culture Code: An Ingenious Way to Understand Why People Around the World Live and Buy as They Do (9780767920575): Clotaire Rapaille: Books. French-born marketing consultant and psychoanalyst Rapaille takes a truism—different cultures are, well, different—and expands it by explaining how a nation's history and cultural myths are psychological templates to which its citizens respond unconsciously. Fair enough, but after that, it's all downhill. Rapaille intends his theory of culture codes to help us understand why people do what they do, but the fundamental archetypes he offers are just trumped-up stereotypes. He often supports jarring pronouncements (The Culture Code for perfection in America is DEATH) with preposterous generalizations and overstatements, e.g., Japanese men seem utterly incapable of courtship or wooing a woman. Writing with the naïveté of someone who has learned about the world only through Hollywood films, he seems unaware that every person living within a nation's borders doesn't necessarily share the same cultural biases and references. Rapaille's successful consulting career is evidence that he's more convincing in the boardroom than he is on the page. Amid the overheated prose and dubious factoids, it's easy to overlook the book's scattered marketing proposals and employee-management tips. (June 6) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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