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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for Appreciating Swedes, 2 Dec 2005
By 
Jonathan D. Stubbs "JStubbs.com" (Luleå, Sweden) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Modern-day Vikings: A Practical Guide to Interacting with the Swedes (Interact Series) (Perfect Paperback)
This one is a keeper. I bought it after living in Sweden for a bit over 4½ years. There were things about living in Sweden that I was having trouble appreciating; sometimes there was an underlying “cultural current” that wouldn’t decode for me. After the first read, Robinowitz & Carr’s book gave me some more pieces to the puzzle I was holding. Subsequent readings have added more pieces.
I strongly recommend purchase of your own copy of this book for reference and note-taking. Any culture is a set of unwritten rules. The authors have done an excellent job of capturing much of that which is unwritten. The book starts with a brief history of Sweden - which helps to give a perspective on modern Swedes and Swedish culture. In following chapters they go on to give a good overview of modern Sweden and some of the more visible aspects of Swedish culture. A part about the Swedish flag is typical of the kind of information they give (Swedes seem to use their flag to declare their Swedish identity in contrast, Americans might be said to give the US flag a loyalty). The chapter on a cultural value/belief/behavior called “Jantelagen” was particularly valuable as it helped me to better understand behaviors and to “release the right responses” during the course of daily living activities (Edward T. Hall writes about releasing the right responses in “Understanding Cultural Differences”).
Other chapters give clear and easy to read descriptions of a number of important social and business values, beliefs and behaviors. I figure that the amount I spent on this book is nothing in comparison to the value it has returned. Time invested in reading has saved me time later as I more quickly understood unspoken parts of “messages”. If you’re going to have more than a superficial, touristy kind of contact with Swedes – in Sweden or anywhere else in the world – you’ll likely be glad for this book as a useful adviser.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars nice item, 10 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Modern-day Vikings: A Practical Guide to Interacting with the Swedes (Interact Series) (Perfect Paperback)
a really interesting book,a bit 'text booky' but has lots of interesting, useful information to help you understand the Swedish psyche.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, but some years old, 7 Jun 2014
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As someone who grew up in Sweden, but who has lived elsewhere for 30-40 years, I found this fascinating. Clearly many of my values and attitudes are marked by my part Swedish roots. I have just finished reading this the day after the Swedish national day, and yesterday I saw many comments from Swedes about how Sweden is the best and all should be done to spread the model elsewhere. That attitude prevails. No comment that they can also learn from others. The other side of the coin was the comment in this book, near the end, how Swedes are learning from others and becoming more flexible. This was in particular vis-vis American workplaces. But the authors failed to comment that maybe American workplaces could also benefit from learning something from Swedes. That was an irritation to me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very revealing!, 24 Nov 2011
By 
Ms Vivien Toft (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Modern-day Vikings: A Practical Guide to Interacting with the Swedes (Interact Series) (Perfect Paperback)
This book is easy and entertaaining to read. It is refreshingly unbiased and allows you to make up your own mind about the value/restrictions of the rules of Jante etc. You have a much better chance of understanding and appreciating Swedish culture after reading this book.
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