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Value System in Intercultural Communication

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Value System in Intercultural Communication

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     Acknowledgements Abstract (English) (Chinese) Chapter I Introduction 1.1 The Necessity of Intercultural Study 1.2 The Definition of Culture Chapter II The Structure of Culture 2.1 Material Culture, Social Culture and Ideological Culture 2.2 Overt Culture and Covert Culture Chapter III Value System 3.1 Confucianism vs. Individualism & Human Rights 3.2 Good Nature vs. Evil Nature 3.3 Collectivism vs. Individualism 3.4 Power vs. Solidarity 3.5 Status Identity vs. Freedom of Actions 3.6 Warm Human Feelings vs. Instrumentality and Fair Play 3.7 Past Orientation vs. Future Orientation 3.8 P-time vs. M-time 3.9 High-context vs. Low-context Chapter IV The Impact of Value System on Intercultural Communication 30 4.1 The Impact of Value System on Indirectness 4.2 The Impact of Value System on Topic Introduction 4.3 The Impact of Value System on Privacy-regulation 4.4 The Impact of Value System on the Styles of Approaching Conflicts 3

     4 6 7 7 8 10 10 11 12 13 16 18 19 20 21 24 26 26

     30 37 38 39

     4.5 The Impact of Value System on Face

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     Chapter V The Approaches to A Successful Intercultural Communicat41 Chapter VI Conclusion Selected Bibliography 43 45

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     ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS During my study in the School of Foreign Studies of Anhui University for the masters degree, I have learned a lot under the supervision of those learned experts and scholars in linguistics and literature fields. Their industrious work and enthusiastic encouragement have been a constant inspiration to me. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to all those who have offered me their help in my study and in the course of writing my thesis, including Professor Hua Quankun, Professor Hong Zengliu~Professor Zhou Fangzhu, Professor Chen

    Zhengfa, Professor Li Yongfang, Professor He Gongjie, and Dr. Stewart. My indebtedness is due particularly to my supervisor, Professor Zhu Yue, for his valuable suggestions and inspiring comments. I am also grateful to him for his patient help and precious advice. Without his instruction, the completion of my thesis would have been impossible. Finally, grateful acknowledgements are made to my colleagues and classmates who have also offered me great help.

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     Abstract This paper makes a contrastive analysis of Chinese and Western value systems, attempts to study the impact of value system on intercultural communication and puts forward two principles to achieve a successful intercultural communication. It holds that as the core of culture, value system plays a significant part in intercultural communication. To begin with, the paper discusses the definition of culture. Different scholars have defined culture from different perspectives. The papers concern is with anthropological culture. When the paper uses the word culture in its anthropological sense, it means to say that culture is the deposit

    of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, actions, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and artifacts (tools, pottery, houses, machines, works of art) acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving. Secondly, this paper analyzes the structure of culture. The structure of culture is one of the most important aspects in intercultural study. Unless we have been familiar with the structure of culture, it is not likely that we know the focus of intercultural study. Culture can be classified into overt culture and covert culture. The core of covert culture is value system. Values are, according to Rokeach (1973:161), a learned

    organization of rules for making choices and for resolving conflicts. These rules

    and guideposts are normative and teach us what is useful, useless, good, bad, right, wrong, what to strive for, how to live our life, and even what to die for. This paper holds the view that value system should be the focus of intercultural study. Thirdly, this paper makes a contrastive analysis of different value orientations in Chinese culture and Western culture, including the following aspects: Confucianism vs. individualism and human rights, good nature vs. evil nature, collectivism vs. individualism, power vs. solidarity, status identity vs. freedom of actions, warm human feelings vs. instrumentality and fair play, past orientation vs. future orientation, P-time

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     vs. M-time, and high-context vs. low-context. Fourthly, this paper discusses the impact of value system on indirectness, topic introduction, privacy-regulation, the styles of approaching conflicts and face. Based on different value orientations,

    Chinese people and Western people have different communicative styles and ways of perception. Thus, misunderstandings and even communication breakdowns frequently occur in intercultural communication. Finally, this paper puts forward two principles to achieve a successful intercultural communication. The first principle of intercultural communication is that each participant should understand the other

    s value system. And the second one is that each participant should adapt his or her communication to the others value system. Of course, culture is never static. One should be cautious in making static generalization on social behavior of the people of a particular culture. Key Words: culture value system intercultural communication

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     本文认为~作为文化的内核~价值系统在跨文化交际中起着至关 重要的作用。本文对中

    西方文化中不同的价值系统进行了对比分析~ 探讨了价值系统对跨文化交际的影响~并且提

    出两个成功地进行跨文 化交际的原则。 首先~本文讨论了文化的定义。不同领域的学者从

    不同的角度对 文化进行了定义。本文所关注的是人类学的文化。本文在使用“文化” 这个

    概念时~指一个大的人群在许多代当中通过个人和集体的努力获 得的知识、经验、信念、价

    值、态度、角色、空间关系、宇宙观念的 积淀~以及他们获得的物质的东西和所有物。

    二~本文分析了文化的结构。文化的结构是跨文化研究中最重 要的方面之一。如果不了解文

    化的结构~就不可能知道跨文化研究的 重点。文化可以分为公开文化和隐蔽文化。隐蔽文化

    的核心是价值系 统。价值观通常是规定性的~告诫人们什么是好的和坏的~什么是正 确的

和错误的~什么是真实的和虚假的~什么是正面的和反面的~等 等。最重要的是文化价值观

    指导人们的看法和行为。本文认为价值系 统应该是跨文化研究的重点。 第三~为了研究价

    值系统~本文试着对中西方文化中不同的价值 取向进行了对比分析~它们包括?儒家思想~

    个人主义与人权?性本 善~性本恶?群体主义~个人主义?权势~平等?地位身份~行为自

    由?情感型~工具型?以过去为取向~以将来为取向?多元时间制~ 一元时间制?强语境~

    弱语境。 第四~本文讨论了价值系统对以下五个方面的影响?间接性~话 题导入~隐私规

    则~冲突解决方式和面子。由于不同的文化价值取向~ 中国人与西方人的交际风格明显不同~

    因而在跨文化交际中会经常产 生误解~甚至交际失败。 最后~本文提出两个成功地进行跨

    文化交际的原则。首先~每一 个跨文化交际的参与者必须了解对方的价值观?其次~必须使

    自己的 交际适应对方的价值观。 当然~文化并不是静止的。因此~我们在对某一具体文化

    中人们 的社会行为做一般概括时必须谨慎。 关键词?文化~价值系统~跨文化交际 关键词?

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     Value System in Intercultural Communication

     Chapter I Introduction

     1.1 The Necessity of Intercultural Study In recent years, the growth in foreign travel for business, study and pleasure, the expansion of international trade and the migration of people seeking work in the multi-national companies have naturally led to a concomitant in contacts across national and ethnic borders. Technology has accelerated intercultural contact by spurring development in two areas of human endeavor: transportation systems and communication systems. Today tourism is one of the fast-growing industries in the world. Trips once taking days are now measured in hours. Supersonic transports can place a tourist anywhere in the world within hours. Vacationing tourists are not the only ones enjoying the increased mobility brought about by technical advances in transportation systems. Business executives and government officials can now attend a breakfast meeting in San Francisco and a dinner conference in Paris during the same day. One result of these expanded travel opportunities is that people are encountering cultures that sometimes seem bizarre and even mysterious. New and advanced communication systems have also encouraged and facilitated cultural interaction during the past decade. Communication satellites, sophisticated television transmission equipment, and digital switching networks now allow people throughout the world to share information and ideas at the same time. It is reported that the world now has 1.2 billion television sets and 180 million personal computers. The development of communication satellite has also led to the expansion of the World Wide Web and the Internet computer network. The information revolution began in the United States, and the Internet is gradually spreading it around the world. In the last two years, the Internet has more than tripled in size. Computer education for children is on the rise worldwide. Children are being educated in ways never conceived. They are linked across the globe through computer literacy. Some will grow up never knowing a time they did not use the

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     computer. As a result of these computer links, many children may relate more to their global peers than to their local counterparts. When there are significant differences in background knowledge, even the same message may be interpreted differently by different individuals. This may cause trouble in any situation of

    contact between them. There are two groups of cultural anthropologists making a study of interaction between individuals representing different cultures. The first group of researchers, whom they label cultural dialogists, emphasize the need to develop

    a humanistic view of communication theory and practice that would promote world understanding. The second school, referred to as cultural criticism, is guided

    by the principle of conflict and tries to identify points of conflict between individual cultures as researchable issues. Although these studies acknowledge the role of language in the manifestation of cultural differences, the underlying assumption is that cultural problems are more significant than linguistic problems. The successful intercultural understanding is based on recognizing the ways in which two cultures resemble one another as well as the ways in which they differ. The comparison of two cultures will provide a basis for better understanding of a person from other backgrounds. Cultural anthropologists have gradually moved from an atomistic definition of culture, describing it as a more or less haphazard collection of traits, to one which emphasizes pattern and configuration. 1.2 The Definition of Culture Culture is an elusive entity, the definitions of which, according to Qi Yucun (1992:2), have amounted to no less than 250, not yet to everyones satisfaction.

    From the viewpoint of human distribution in different geographic areas on the earth in their evolution process, culture may as well be viewed as the comprehensive features that distinguish one group (be it a nation, a race or any section of people) of people from another. This perspective allows us to talk of specific cultures. By comprehensive is implied the argument that not just one or two elements but the total sum of elements distinguish one group of people from another. As can be well imagined, this perspective of culture is

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     particularly dynamic in nature, the concrete elements that comprise a given specific culture being in a constant change as they are compared and contrasted with those of another culture. Given the limited experience of any researcher and the dynamic nature of culture, no one can present an exhaustive description of the elements of any given culture at any time. Yet, there is also the relatively static nature of culture, otherwise no people could communicate in any sensible way with each other, either intraculturally or interculturally. When a great majority of a given nation or country or any particular group behave verbally and/or nonverbally in a certain uniform manner, we can safely regard the behavior as cultural. In studies of intercultural communication, our concern is those definitions that contain the recurring theme of how culture and communication are linked together. When we use the word culture in its anthropological sense, we mean to say that culture is any of the customs, worldview, language, kinship system, social organization, and other take-for-granted day-to-day practices of a people which set that group apart as a distinctive group. By using the anthropological sense of the word culture,

    we mean to consider any aspect of the ideas, communications, or behaviors of a group of people which gives to them a distinctive identity and which is used to organize their internal sense of cohesion and membership (Scollon, 2000:126). We agree with Larry A. Samovar, Richard E. Porter and Lisa A. Stefani. They define culture as the

    deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, actions, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and artifacts (tools, pottery, houses, machines, works of art) acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving (2000:36). Culture can therefore include a great number of elements from the cultural beliefs you hold that influence how you perceive the world and interact in it to your different responses to your national flag and foreign flag. Your views on work, immigration, freedom, age, being graded by your teachers, cleanliness and hygiene, ethics, dress, property rights, etiquette, healing and health, death and mourning, play, law, magic and superstition, modesty, sex, status differentiation, courtship, formality and informality, bodily adornment, and the like are part of your cultural membership.

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     Chapter II

     Structure of Culture

     2.1 Material Culture, Social Culture and Ideological Culture The two Chinese scholars are Liang Shuming ( ), a noted philosopher and thinker who devoted

    his entire life to comparative studies of Eastern and Western culture, and Pang Pu (庞朴), a well-known contemporary culture researcher. The initial motive for looking into the cultural theories of Chinese scholars is that we need to get out of the field of communication for a while to find out the opinion of Chinas best minds on its

    own tradition. When we compare communication styles and the customs and habits, rites and rituals and ways of living of two different peoples, it is inevitable to trace them to the philosophical foundation and national character or temperament, or deep culture (Hu Wenzhong, 1988:5). In his book Culture and Philosophy in the East and West, a classic in the comparative study of the types of cultures, Liang Shuming discusses the three aspects of culture: material life, such as all material things essential to human survival; social life, such as lifestyles, social organization, political and economic relations; and spiritual life, such as religion, philosophy, value systems, science and art (Liang, 1994:10). This view was shared by Zhang Dainian (张岱年), a noted contemporary scholar of Chinese philosophy, but neither treated it with too much emphasis. It was Pang Pu who gave it the name the structure of

    culture and discussed in more detail its significance for the study in the exchange and contact between cultures. In his article Culture Relative to Nationality and

    Ages, Pang Pu explained the structure of culture. A culture, regardless of its type and stage of development, consists of three levels at the outset is the material

    level; at the core (the deepest level) is the psychological or ideological level; in the middle is the combination of the two: materialized ideology, such as theory, system, and behavior (Pang, 1988:25). The diagram here shows that their ideas, though termed differently, are identical.

     Level 1 Material life Material level Level 2 Social life (political &economic) Materialized ideology

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     Liang Pang

     Level 3 Spiritual life (value system &life philosophy) Ideology

     In his paper Intercultural Communication and What it Means to us, Prof. Hu

    Wenzhong has discussed the various definitions of culture by anthropologists and linguists, as well as the three ways of classifying culture: high culture, popular culture and deep culture (Hu, 1988:4-5). The concept of culture in these definitions, regardless of their different wording, seems to fall within the second and third level of the cultural model we have discussed. Prof. Qi Yucun has also noticed the differences and changes in the definition of culture by Western scholars and distinguished between the definition of material aspect and definition of culture excluding the material aspect. They may be called the culture in the broad sense (Culture with capital C), as compared with the culture in the narrow sense (culture with a small letter). (Qi Yucun, 1994:14) Almost all cultural and communication scientistsEastern or Western have agreed that culture is not biologically inherited but a learned behavior acquired from his/her experience and upbringing in the society he/she is born to. Therefore, when two individuals from two different cultures come together and try to communicate, we must bear in mind that they are not isolated biological beingseach of them is a representation of all aspects of the culture behind him/her, from material culture, social culture to ideological culture. 2.2 Overt Culture and Covert Culture According to Hall (1991:65), culture is classified into overt culture and covert culture. But what is inside overt culture and covert culture respectively remains a question. I hold the view that overt culture mainly refers to visible material culture such as artifacts, whereas various invisible concepts are the main components in the stratum of covert culture and their core is value system. Values are the basis for our actions. They guide our behavior and help us determine what is right and what is wrong; what is good and what is bad. Value systems are culturally diverse, and they determine differences of communicative acts among different cultures. I hold the view that intercultural communication studies should lay emphasis on covert culture and focus its attention on the explosure of value system.

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     Chapter III

     Value System

     Formally, a value may be defined as an ending belief that a specific mode of conduct or end-state of existence is personally or socially preferable to another. Values are, according to Rokeach (1973:161), a learned organization of rules for

    making choices and for resolving conflicts. These rules and guideposts are

    normative and teach us what is useful, good, right, wrong, what to strive for, how to live our life, and even what to die for. As Albert (1968:32) says, a value system represents what is expected or hoped for, required or forbidden. It is not report of actual conduct but is the system of criteria by which conduct is judged and sanctions applied. Although each of us has a unique set of individual values, there are also values that tend to permeate a culture. These are called cultural values. Cultural values are derived from the larger philosophical issues that are part of cultural milieu. They are transmitted by a variety of sources (family, media, school,

    church, state, and so on) and therefore tend to be broad-based, enduring, and relatively stable. Most important, as is the case with cultural beliefs, cultural values guide both perception and communication. That is, our values get translated into action. An understanding of cultural values helps us appreciate the behavior of other people. An awareness of cultural values also helps us understand our own behavior. We can, for example, associate impatience with our value of time, aggressiveness with our value of competition, and self-disclosure with our twin values of friendship and sociability. An individuals cognitive structure consists

    of many values, which are arranged into a hierarchical order that is highly organized and exists along a continuum of relative importance. Values can be classified as primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary values are the most important: they specify what is worth the sacrifice of human life. For example, in the United States, democracy and the protection of ones self and close family are primary values. Secondary values are also quite important. In the United States, the relief of the pain and suffering of others is a secondary value. The securing of material possessions is also a secondary value for most Americans. They care about such values, but we do not hold the same intense feeling toward them as we do with primary values. Tertiary values are at the bottom of the hierarchy.

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     Examples of tertiary values in the United States are hospitality to guests and cleanliness. Although they strive to carry out these values, they are not as profound or consequential as values in the other two categories.(Samovar, 2000: 60) 3.1 Confucianism vs. Individualism & Human Rights Chinese value concepts have been influenced by Confucianism, especially Ren () and Li :礼;, which lie at the very

    core of Confucianism. It is well-acknowledged that Ren and Li, which can hardly be appropriately translated into English, virtually determined almost all aspects of the Chinese life they have become the collective unconsciousness for the Chinese programming their social behavior including speech acts such as apologies, compliments, addressing, etc; as well as interactional rules, such as conversational principles, politeness principles, face work, etc. In short, Ren and Li have shaped the way the Chinese behave. Obviously the understanding of Ren and Li can help explain why the Chinese people behave the way they do. Ren and Li, the core concepts of Confucianism, complement each other in nature. If we look at these two concepts in terms of ends and means, we can safely say that Ren serves as the goal of life, while Li serves as the norms and means for achieving the acceptable ends of social life. And at the same time, these two concepts overlap with each other. Ren, etymologically a combination of the Chinese ideographic characters for “人” (human being)

    (represented by the radical on the left of the Chinese ideograph) and for “二” (two)

    (represented by the radical on the right), means, on the one hand, the ideal manhood, defining all the fine qualities that make up an ideal man, and on the other hand, the ideal reciprocal relationship that should pertain between people. Men should be warm and benevolent to others or love them and respect themselves. Self or an individual must emerge himself into the group or collective. We can say that Ren, the cardinal principle of Confucianism lays great emphasis on relationship. To some

    extent, the largeness of heart which Ren renders knows no boundaries as Ren advocates that within the four seas all men are brothers and sisters. Li, as we have pointed

    out, serves as a norm or a means for people to

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     achieve ideal manhood or good relationships. It defines almost all the norms or rules for the appropriate conduct and behavior for every social member according to his or her social position. It defines the specifics of obligations and responsibilities for every member in the society. The norm consists of the proscriptions and prescriptions for acceptable behavior concerning almost every aspect of life, such as morality, social and political order, social rituals, customs, social interactions and so on and so forth. Although Ren advocates reciprocity, the reciprocity of love or benevolence is not unlimited. Unlike the Western humanism, the love and reciprocity Ren advocates has never been symmetrical in the Chinese context. It is based on the kinship relationships in the patriarchal Chinese society or rather it is a symbol of patriarch. The reciprocity or love Ren advocates is best expressed in the obligations and responsibilities ascribed to the people according to their social positions in the society. As for Li, it specifies Five Constant Relationships that constitute the warp and woof of social life. The relationships are those between ruler and subject, parent and child, husband and wife, elder sibling and junior sibling, elder friend and junior friend. These relationships are asymmmetrical. Rulers should be benevolent, subject loyal; parents be loving, children reverential; elder siblings gentle, younger siblings respectful; husband good, wife obedient. Three of these five relationships pertain within the family while two are the extensions of family relationships, which is indicative of the importance of family institution. Ren and Li in fact are a system of moral codes in the Chinese contest predisposing a society in which relationship is complementary, asymmetrical, and reciprocally obligatory. The relationships are asymmetrical in that behavior that is appropriate to one party in each pair of the five relationships is not identical with what is appropriate for the other party. It is just this asymmetry that predisposes role differentiation and details its specifics. The Chinese society, traditionally speaking, is hierarchical in nature. In a society as such, Li is used as norms and means to maintain this hierarchical social order by differentiating the difference between the emperor and his subjects, father and his sons and daughters, brothers and obligations according to their positions. If the people in lower social positions are obedient to and respect those in higher positions and the humble respect the venerate, the

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     younger respect the elder as Li advocates, the society will be in order. As a matter of fact, Li advocates nothing but vertical or hierarchical relationships and its essential function is to build social order upon these hierarchical relationships. It functions in the society as law does in the Western society. Doctrine of the Mean, called Zhong Yong in Chinese literally meaning middle and constant, is also central to Li canon. This Doctrine of the Mean advocates that men should not go to extremes of behavior. With nothing in excess as guiding principle, people are expected to be

    constantly watchful against overdoing and indulgence. The practice of the Mean brings balance and harmony. As a result, men in the society favor compromise and highly value reserve. Under the influence of Ren and Li, the core concept of Confucianism, Lunli (伦理) ethic principle has ruled over China for several thousand of years. Lun in Chinese means the hierarchical order while Li (), (meaning principle in Chinese)

    homophonic with in fact means exactly what means. Therefore Li becomes the

    important principle in China. That is why China becomes a country of Lunli, both in terms of politics and morality. And when we say that China lays emphasis on Li (for example 礼仪之邦), we do mean to say that it is a country with Lunli ethic. In short, the Chinese people, no matter what social positions, can all best be characterized by the spirit of Li people from all walks of life have each his or her own Li. People can only do what Li allows them to. All the concepts, all the ways of life, modes of thinking, ways of perception, and patterns of behavior are underpinned by the principle of Li. Western value concepts are quite different from Chinese value concepts. Ren and Li find no place in the Western philosophy and religion. What is highly valued in the West is individualism. Broadly speaking, individualism refers to the doctrine, spelled out in detail by the seventeenth-century English philosopher John Locke, that each individual is unique, special, completely different from all other individuals, and the basic unit of nature. As is the case with most cultural

    patterns, the origin of this value has had a long history. Two hundred years before Christ, the Latin poet Quintus Ennius offered the following advice that clearly spelled out the independent nature of the

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     individual: Do not expect strangers to do for you what you can do for yourself.

    Centuries later, Benjamin Franklin reminded us of much the same thing when he wrote that God helps those who help themselves. Individualism manifests itself in

    individual initiative (Pull yourself up by your own boot straps), independence

    (Do your own thing), individual expression (The squeaky wheel gets the grease),

    and privacy (A mans home is his castle). The self for Americans holds the pivotal

    position. So strong is this notion that some Americans believe that there is something wrong with someone who fails to demonstrate individualism. From American literature to American art to American history, the message is the same: individual achievement, sovereignty, and freedom are the virtues most glorified and canonized. American role models, be they the cowboys of Old West or action heroes in todays movies, are all

    portrayed as independent agents who accomplish their goals with little or no assistance. The result of these and countless other messages is that most Americans believe that each person has his or her own separate identity, which should be recognized and reinforced. From American strong belief in democracy to the ease with which they go to war to preserve freedom, individualism dominates American culture. And therefore what is advocated is not the obligations and responsibilities ascribed to each member of the society according to his or her social position but humanitarianism and human rights and thus the slogan: everybody is born equal

    democracy, liberation of the individual is everybodys wish. In this case, the love

    and benevolence humanitarianism advocates is entirely different from those advocated

    by Ren in the Chinese context. The love and benevolence advocated by humanitarianism is not selective or asymmetrical but symmetrical in nature. The relationships are symmetrical in that behavior that is appropriate to one person in each pair is identical with what is appropriate to the other person. This symmetry presupposes role equality rather than differentiation as is the case in China. 3.2 Good Nature vs. Evil Nature Nearly all judgments about human behavior, be they moral or legal, begin with this core question: What is the character of human nature? Although

    all of us have personal answers to this question of human nature, there are also

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     cultural explanations for why people act as they do. Understanding these cultural responses is directly linked to the study of intercultural communication. The Three Character Classic (San Zi Jing Southern Song Dynasty, AD 1127-1279) has been used in Confucian education in China for as long as eight hundred years as a primer for the learning of both classical Chinese writing and Chinese ethical philosophy. It is based on Confucian classics such as The Analects of Confucius and Mencius, and therefore it embodies the ethical position taken by that school of thought that all humans are born good. It begins with the following words: Ren zhi chu, xing ben shan Xing xiang jin, xi xiang yuan Man, by nature, is good; peoples inborn characters

    are similar, but learning makes them different. In contrast to this Chinese philosophical belief that humans are born with a naturally good character, I could cite a nineteenth-century New Englander who has been quoted by the historian Robert Sunley as saying that all children are born with an evil disposition: No child has

    ever been known since the earliest period of the world, destitute of an evil disposition however sweet it appears. Cultures that begin with the premise that

    people are intrinsically evil and therefore cannot be trusted seek to control the actions of their members with institutions ranging from the religious to the political. American orientation, inherited from Puritan ancestors, is based on the concept of original sin. However, Americans are perfectible. By the following certain rules

    Americans can change, improve, and be saved. According to this view, with constant

    work, control, and self-discipline, Americans can achieve goodness. This is one reason education and training are a part of the American mosaic. We can also see this self-help approach to life in other aspects of Christianity. For Christians, God is the Father and humans are his children. As is the case with all children, Americans get guidance but must also make choices. Through those choices, Americans can move from being corrupt to being good.

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     3.3 Collectivism vs. Individualism Under the impact of Ren and Li in the East and individualism in the West, two entirely different interpersonal relationships, collectivism and individualism, exist between these two hemispheres of the globe. Hofstede defines collectivism and individualism as follows: Collectivism pertains to societies in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong cohesive in-groups, which throughout peoples life-time continue to protect them in exchange

    for unquestioning loyalty. Individualism as its opposite pertains to societies in which the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after

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