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Culture Code

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,777 Ratings  ·  201 Reviews
Why are people around the world so very different? What makes us live, buy, even love as we do? The answers are in the codes.
In "The Culture Code," internationally revered cultural anthropologist and marketing expert Clotaire Rapaille reveals for the first time the techniques he has used to improve profitability and practices for dozens of Fortune 100 companies. His groun
ebook, 272 pages
Published June 6th 2006 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Largely absurd and often borderline evil, this is the tale of one incredibly smart man stealing our memories in order to sell us things we don't need.

In one passage, Rapaille declares that since the moon reflects the light of the sun, and the French word for moon is feminine while the word for sun is masculine, the French consider men to be shining and brilliant and women a mere reflection of that. Nevermind that the French language was invented before knowledge of the moon's reflective propert
Feb 01, 2015 Ala rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is by far one of the most fascinating books I've read in quite a while, started out strong made me go WOW while I was reading the introduction. Actually I've already read it last year but I didn't finish it. So I decided that I would start reading it all over again this year and yeah I did. FEELING ACCOMPLISHED :D.
Anyway. First off, the most parts was about American culture so I don't know I found it weird and funny in some points I mean some of his codes doesn't make sense to me and the r
Jan 29, 2009 Gayle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This intriguing book by Clotaire Rapaille posits an interesting premise; that very often we prefer or purchase things for reasons not apparent to our rational minds. OK, actually we all kind of know that, but his analysis and findings are revealing. His background as a psychoanalyst in Paris working with autistic children turned out to be a goldmine when he developed a clientele of Fortune 500 companies. His skills were ideal for getting past the answers from the conscious mind ("alibis", which ...more
Uwe Hook
Aug 04, 2013 Uwe Hook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the more fascinating books I've read in quite a while. The author claims that subconscious links created socially" and nationally dictate the meanings of various things. For example, French people form an early Association with alcohol which links drinking with a social family atmosphere, because French children are often given a small amount of wine to drink by their parents at an early age. Americans on the other hand, are not allowed to drink until age 21, and therefore the ass ...more
This book is brilliantly evil. The author, in real life, found ways to sell chocolate to the kids in Japan when kids didn't even like chocolate. He seeks to reveal the code of what different culture really think about when they are presented with an idea. He covers presidents, sex, cars, etc. The logic isn't compelling but the results are stunning.
Vinod Peris
Mar 03, 2012 Vinod Peris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have recently read a couple of books that attempt to explain macro phenomenon by looking through the lens of the culture of its people. "Boomerang" by Michael Lewis explains the financial crisis that is unfolding in many European countries and ties it to the cultural traits of their inhabitants. Rapaille on the other hand has written an entire book on interpreting the code for American culture and he brings this out by contrasting it with the culture of other countries, most notably France, wh ...more
Rapaille argues that America, and by extension, our culture is an adolescent nation. Not only in age, but also in the things we love - fast food, blue jeans, loud and violent movies, Coca Cola, Nike, etc. The author argues that it also explains our fascination with celebrities and the adolscent mistakes they always seem to be making. America is a nation of extremes - rich vs. poor, liberal vs. conservative, etc. Just like adolescents, we're either high or low; there is no middle ground.

After th
sampath krishna
The Culture Code started out as a very promising read with a very interesting concept. However, it did not build on the good start. It purports to enlighten why people around the world live and buy as they do. Sadly, it focuses only on why Americans live and buy as they do, while using Europe (read France) mainly for comparison. As a non-american, I found this focus on America rather limiting and dissatisfying. I would have expected some more case studies from other countries from different cont ...more
This book explores the idea that different cultures (he fixates almost exclusively on American culture) have different internal meanings for certain concepts, and that in order to successfully understand a culture (and market products to them, for example) you have to understand the codes for the different concepts. Many of these I agree with, but there are a few that don't make sense to me (personally, though I can accept his explanation). He came to these conclusions after long periods with fo ...more
Sep 28, 2012 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: educational
This is a super cool book!! Perhaps the writing isn't amazing, but the CONCEPT is fascinating. And it's not very long. And it is interesting to read. I will be thinking about some of the stuff for the rest of my life.

Especially interesting for anyone interested in marketing or advertising. But really interesting just to analyze your own motives and throught processes as well.

I want to own this one just to remember the codes - or maybe I'll just write them all down before I take it back to the l
Jun 14, 2016 Blyden rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating book and a very easy read. As I was reading it I thought it could be a good book to start a conversation in an American Culture or Intro Sociology course. In the introduction and first chapter Rapaille lays out his core thesis and theory, such as it is (Chapter One) - though he adds significant further elements in later chapters, particularly the concept of "alibi" in Chapter 9 and the primacy of the "reptilian" in Chapter 4 - and a summary of his research method on which t ...more
Sebas Crespo
Feb 02, 2016 Sebas Crespo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clotaire Rapaille, The author of The Culture Code , speaks of different research that he made with internationally companies, which talks about people, dominated by the past experiences and repressed emotions that causes people to behave in the way they do, motivated by different experiences and other items used with various facts or particularities with this identified on the first experience,

The country's culture is a determining factor in the behavior of persons that grow up there, as each c
The Dirty Sanchez
Wow, ok, this guy is obviously French, and a total cultural chauvinist! I realize he was naturalized as an American citizen nearly 3 decades ago, but his hedonistic European viewpoints are really hard to swallow. Maybe in his little world he's a genius, and I'm not saying for one minute that he's not a well-articulated professional in this field, but criticizing the people of this nation by repeatedly calling us "culturally immature" is completely uncalled for and offensive. He should really sti ...more
First this is 99.9% about America...if you are not American or do n ot have an interest in American culture or psychology do not bother reading.
Secondly and most importantly the basic problem I had with this book is that it approached American culture as monolithic. That is to say WHITE! I had to read between the lines to try to understand what other parallel Americas might have as codes. For example Blacks Americans are Americans but their code for WORK must be by definition different than WHIT
Oscar Romero
Jul 29, 2015 Oscar Romero rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! I am sure you'll love it too...if you are open to some self-criticism and self-analysis. After all, he is telling us why we do the sometimes funky things we do, like eating! It is very interesting to read how he describes each culture and finds a tag for it--which he then will say is on or out of Code with that specific culture, and why. I guess he must be right--thus his continued work with many multinational enterprises.

First time I ever see/read an explanation (to which I d
I enjoyed this book more towards the end than I did in the beginning. This is a book about consumer psychology and it's pretty interesting -if you can get past the uncomfortable racism and classism in the beginning of the book. I especially enjoyed reading about how people in different cultures interpreted each other's 'culture codes'. The book is pretty American-centric, I would have liked to read a little bit more about other cultures and successful and unsuccessful advertising campaigns. I al ...more
Apr 12, 2015 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book concerns certain "codes" that are embedded in our brains. One or a few words can describe situations that might otherwise take paragraphs or pages to describe. For example, nurse = "mother;" coffee = "smell;" beauty = "mask." The book makes a compelling argument that these codes are cultural and may mean different things to different cultures or societies.

The book was very good. Its teachings can be applied in various professions, from marketeers to attorneys. I thought the narration wa
Jul 08, 2016 Gottfried rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, cultures
As I understand cultures, ethos on a deeper way. I really expected a lot from this book. I'd say, if you are European/American, you will learn some new things. I grew up outside the United States. As I kept reading, I realized how much American, I had become in just two and a half years of living here. A lot of the ideas in this book reflect for marketing and understanding societies.

I think, you will learn a lot about European/American culture. It doesn't focus on other countries like China, In
David Wild
Sep 26, 2012 David Wild rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a "one idea" book but VERY astute insights into American (and other) culture. Particularly interesting when you've come into that culture from somewhere else.
Kevin Eikenberry
Lots of people talk about cultural differences in terms of communication and cultural norms. This book takes that journey in a different direction. The author has spent 30 years trying to unravel how people in different cultures think about a variety of situations, words and ideas.

The Culture CodeThis book describes his process and tells many great stories about how cultures feel and think about certain things. His process allows him to boil down how a culture feels about a concept to a single w
Jan 27, 2016 Allison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really quick read and was overall really interesting. I would have liked a little more supporting evidence behind his determination of each of the "codes" - but overall the book was enjoyable and insightful.

I enjoyed that he often used French culture to compare and contrast with American culture. I always think Westerners have the same attitudes about things - but in reality, even though our lives may be similar, every day things have very different perceptions in our respective cult
Tennessee O'Donnell
I really found this extremely interesting and very thought provoking! quite the conversation topic among my friends...
Mar 02, 2014 Hannah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was initially hard to take Rapaille's codes with a grain of salt. And after he mentioned helping a company make their foods more addictive, I found his siting depression as the primary (or at least only mentionable) cause of obesity to be slightly deceptive. There was no concrete data presented, only generalizations and the conclusion the he apparently drew, along with soundbites from people he'd queried. He did point out that these conclusions, "codes," represented the group not the individu ...more
Nov 10, 2014 Sean rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book. It was very promising. Breaking the culture code and understand culture? YES! But there isn't much follow-through. It's interesting and presented in a very Malcolm Gladwell and breakthrough sciency-way at points, but it's just surface-bearing. It's overall quite forgetful. Well, that's what I remember about it at least :P
I wanted to look at it again to make sure I didn't miss anything, but I think I already donated it because looking at it pissed me off for having was
Dmitry Kuriakov
Dec 04, 2015 Dmitry Kuriakov rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Одной из самых неоднозначных книг по маркетингу последнего времени я бы назвал книгу Клотера Рапая «Культурный код». Книга соединила два направления: психоанализ и маркетинг. Оба этих направления не являются точно научными дисциплинами и поэтому вызывают многочисленные споры по поводу истинности того или иного подхода. Также как их объединяет то, что некоторые люди считают и психоанализ как таковой и маркетинг, «одним сплошным надувательством, шарлатанством и происками евреев или большого капита ...more
Justin Hill
May 28, 2015 Justin Hill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
Very interesting. I'm still a little bothered by the section about Nestle realizing coffee had no cultural significance for the Japanese, so they introduced a bunch of coffee-flavored treats for kids to get the next generation to find coffee meaningful. Weaselly marketers. Good thing I never fall for things like that. Right?

I enjoyed the last section on how Americans and Europeans see each other and themselves.

Even if you don't agree with his codes, it makes you think about what things like wei
Aug 14, 2012 Tara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun read. Since this was written at least five or six years ago, it seems that some of the things described may have changed.. maybe. Many of the sentiments described did not relate, but it's possible that NYC and the Bay Area are different subcultures from the author's suggested culture code for America.

That said, am still debating if "Adolescent" truly captures/describes America/Americans, as the author is still very focused on the the Old World (England, France, and Germany) vs. the New Wor
Sep 20, 2012 Abbe added it
Shelves: in-library
From Publishers Weekly

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 stereotyp

Andrew Lasher
Apr 26, 2010 Andrew Lasher rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
This book examines what makes people people, and then shows how the author tries to use this knowledge in order to sell us things. What the author is trying hardest to sell is himself, and for me he wound up way short.

Just because some things seem logical doesn't mean that they are, and Rapaille tries to get us to believe in him without giving us any reason to. The book is filled with more self aggrandizement than I thought could possibly exist.

Rapaille feels that he is so in love with himself t
Rajesh Israni
Mar 24, 2012 Rajesh Israni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
""The Culture Code" by, "Clotaire Rapaille" examines how different cultures view products, events, and concepts.

"Clotaire Rapialle" is a cultural anthropologist who has performed studies of the cultures of several countries as an aid to market research of some of America's leading companies. He has discovered striking differences in attitudes, beliefs and cultural associations in residents of the United States and other countries.

Synopsis: It's a fast read and full of interesting informat
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Dr. Clotaire Rapaille began his career as an academic, studying political and social sciences at The Paris Institute of Political Sciences and social psychology at Paris-Sorbonne University.

One of Dr. Rapaille's students urged his father, a Nestlé employee to attend one of Dr. Rapaille's lectures. In his lecture, Dr. Rapaille covered Paul D. MacLean's theory of the reptilian brain and Konrad Loren
More about Clotaire Rapaille...

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“At the unconscious level, Americans believe that good people succeed, that success is bestowed upon you by God. Your success demonstrates that God loves you.” 7 likes
“Emotions are the keys to learning, the keys to imprinting. The stronger the emotion, the more clearly the experience is learned.” 3 likes
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