Cultural Dimensions Fact Sheet — China vs. USA
Cultural Dimensions Fact Sheet
China vs. USA
Communitarianism (China) Individualism (USA)
The idea of a communitarian society is to leave a legacy to their community, and for members to have a larger purpose than individual selves.
Cultures that are communitarian tend to have high levels of productivity and people are likely to bind together for common goals that are better for overall society.
Chinese students expect professors to achieve harmony on which long-term relationships are built on. What a professor says to the student is less important than how it is said (context-based). Relationships are very highly valued.
Ascription (China) Achievement (USA)
The educational structure in China has its roots in cultural and historical emphasis on examinations as a precursor for any promotion or advancement.
Chinese students traditionally concentrate on memorizing material without asking questions or discussing the content.
There is utmost respect for age and hierarchy, which is based on the Confucian concept of li. Everyone in society has a specific position in society. Elders, hierarchy within society and the government are traditionally respected.
The ideal educator can be seen as a benevolent autocrat. Chinese students expect to be told what to do, and it is not rare for a Chinese professor to lecture right out of the textbook.
Diffuse (China) Specific (USA)
Chinese people are detached except when outsiders enter their private lives, and then they are open.
The dimension of specific vs. diffuse refers to the degree of intimacy people feel comfortable with when dealing with others.
There is an important distinction between the public and private person in regards to the amount of space that is allowed. Those in a specific culture are outgoing and allow a lot of public space, but guard their private space.
Affective (China) Neutral (USA)
Chinese students will be more likely to express their emotions naturally. Reactions are immediate through the use of mimic and body signals.
Affective cultures usually do not avoid physical contact.
Chinese may use more intuition compared to those in neutral cultures. Those that are classified as affectives may have the tendency to overreact to certain issues.
** The above information was taken from: Trompenaars, Fons and Hampden-Turner, Charles. Riding the Waves of Culture: Understanding Cultural Diversity in Global Business. McGraw Hill: New York. 1998.