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SOME GENERAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CHINESE AND AMERICAN CULTURES

culture matters

Culture matters
Will I have "cultural shock"?
What is American culture?
Differences between Chinese & American culture
Chinese ideas
How to adjust?
Quiz for chapter 4

Major inspiration for this chart comes from the Li Qing presentation listed in the References. Another important source was the Aguilar and Stokes publication, also listed in the References.

 
Chinese
Americans
Conception Of the Self Collectivist: Higher value placed on group cooperation and individual modesty. Individualist:  Higher value placed on self-reliance.  Self-promotion is more accepted. High value placed on "freedom" from externally imposed constraints.
Social Relationships Formal, hierarchical. People most comfortable in the presence of a hierarchy in which they know their position and the customs/rules for behavior in the situation. Informal, egalitarian. People most comfortable with their social equals; importance of social rankings minimized.
Friendship Small number of close, lifelong friends who feel deeply obligated to give each other whatever help might seem required. Large collection of "friends" and acquaintances which changes over time and involves only limited mutual obligations.
Obligation Relationships with other people involve reciprocal obligations. People avoid interdependent relationships and situations that might entail long-term obligations.
Task vs. Relationship Orientation Relationship-oriented:  Maintaining a harmonious relationship has priority over accomplishing tasks. Task-oriented.  Relationships are less important than getting the work done.
Harmony vs.
"Truth"
Avoid direct confrontation, open criticism, and controversial topics.  Concern maintaining harmony and with "face." Willing to confront directly, criticize, discuss controversial topics, press personal opinions about what they consider "the truth.  Little concern with "face."
Role of laws, rules, and regulations More faith in personal relationships than in written rules and procedures for structuring interactions. Written rules presumably apply to everyone and are assumed to produce fair, reasonable procedures and decisions.
Time Consciousness Relatively more attention to the past and to the longer-term future. Less interested in the past; eye on near-term future.
Ascribed vs. Achieved Status Traditionally, a person's status in the society was based importantly on inherited characteristics such as age, gender, and family.  This is changing. People's status is based mainly on their own achievements, including education obtained and level of success realized in their line of work.
     
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