Cultural Mythology and Global Leadership
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Cultural Mythology and Global Leadership

Edited by Eric H. Kessler and Diana J. Wong-MingJi

This ground-breaking book explains how deep-seated cultural mythologies shape contemporary global leaders and provides insights into navigating the dynamics and complexities in today’s era of globalization. The authors use myths to uncover core characteristics and values from 20 different cultural contexts spanning all major regions of the world – the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and Asia and the Pacific Rim – that have evolved over generations and continue to shape global leadership models. Commentaries are included from practicing managers and leaders to provide real world insights on the implications of the ideas discussed. International managers and executives, public officials, business consultants and corporate trainers will welcome the insights on cross-cultural leadership styles. The book will also find interest from researchers and students across a broad array of professional and social science disciplines.
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Chapter 5: Cultural Mythology and Global Leadership in Brazil

Adriana V. Garibaldi de Hilal


Adriana V. Garibaldi de Hilal INTRODUCTION Brazil is the only country in the Western hemisphere that has the continental proportions, the regional contrasts and the demographic diversity that can be compared to the US and Canada. According to Hess (1995), Brazil, in spite of its Western-like institutions, is a country where Western culture has mixed and mingled with non-Western cultures for centuries. This mixture of Western and non-Western, as well as modern and traditional is what DaMatta (1997a) has called the ‘Brazilian dilemma’, or what Brazilians call the Brazilian reality. Brazil is a country where institutions operate through personal relationships as much as general rules. Diversity is not the best word for describing Brazil and Brazilians; mixture is better. Brazil is a nation of the mixing of races (miscegenation), religions (syncretism) and cultures (diasporas, borderlands). In cultural anthropology and studies of Brazilian national culture, DaMatta (1997a; 1997b) has influenced a number of scholars (such as, David Hess, 1995; Livia Neves Barbosa, 1995; Rosane Prado, 1995; Martha de Ulhoa Carvalho, 1995; and Roberto Kant de Lima, 1995) with his framework for interpreting Brazilian culture. Hess (1995) describes Brazil as the product of a particular colonial legacy that includes a class of wealthy landowners who supported a highly centralized Portuguese state. In turn, the state implanted a latifundia or plantation agricultural system in Brazil, where plantations were controlled by patriarchs who exercised a nearly absolute authority over their dominions. According to Buarque de Holanda (1995), the colonial legacy also includes the origins...

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