Portuguese Society & Culture

Portuguese Society & Culture

The Family

. The family is the foundation of the social structure and forms the basis of stability.
. The extended family is quite close.
. The individual derives a social network and assistance from the family.
. Loyalty to the family comes before other social relationships, even business.
. Nepotism is considered a good thing, since it implies that employing people one knows and trusts is of primary importance.


. Portuguese are traditional and conservative.
. They are a people who retain a sense of formality when dealing with each other, which is displayed in the form of extreme politeness.

Appearances Matter

. In Portuguese society appearance is very important, especially in the cities.
. People are fashion conscious and believe that clothes indicate social standing and success.
. They take great pride in wearing good fabrics and clothes of the best standard they can afford.


. Portugal is a culture that respects hierarchy.
. Society and business are highly stratified and vertically structured.
. Both the Catholic Church and the family structure emphasize hierarchical relationships.
. People respect authority and look to those above them for guidance and decision-making.
. Rank is important, and those senior to you in rank must always be treated with respect.
. This need to know who is in charge leads to an authoritarian approach to decision- making and problem solving.
. In business, power and authority generally reside with one person who makes decisions with little concern about consensus building with their subordinates.

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