In previous research, cultural proximity has been operationalized by ‘hard facts’ such as geographical distance, the exchange of goods or persons (tourists and immigrants) and the similarity of political systems. This article will try to complement current work in the field by suggesting a new operationalization derived from Hofstede's (1991) cultural dimensions. A survey was conducted in eight countries with a student sample (N = 325) to find out if international audiences which resemble each other in terms of Hofstede's (1991) cultural dimensions have similar attitudes towards U.S. prime-time fictional programming. The results show that Hofstede's four cultural dimensions significantly differentiate between the U.S.A., Asian and European countries in a student population. However, operationalizations based on geographical distance allow a better differentiation between nation-states in terms of how they evaluate U.S. fiction. It will be discussed whether cultural dimensions in general are able to measure cultural proximity.
© Walter de Gruyter