Social Structure - In China the social structure is formal and hierarchical. You know where you fit in the structure and you abide by the rules there. There is no crossing into other areas. In America, it is much more loose and informal. It is not uncommon to see those of various social levels socializing and knowing each other.
Confrontation/Conflict – If you are planning on conducting business in China or expecting an extended stay, it might be useful to know that the direct way that most Americans approach issues is not the way to go in China. Direct conflict or confrontation over issues is highly frowned upon. Doesn’t matter that the “truth” needs to be spoken, respect and honor to each person supersedes that. To prove a point and show yourself in the right even over business issues is considered shameful and should be avoided.
Self – The Chinese looks more at the group collective than at individualism. America has become known for its push of individualism which has been a source of conflict with other cultures that look collectively. A person from China is more prone to look at how their acts affect the whole instead of how it affects them personally. They are more willing to give up and sacrifice for the greater good. America’s individualism has been its backbone and the reason for its success as a world power, but when visiting China it needs to be reined in.
Face/Reputation – Reputation of the individual is very important in China. If an action will humiliate someone or ruin a reputation, it is avoided. When shame occurs, the person sacrifices their job or whatever it is that will heal the shame. In America, reputations come and go overnight and in the end usually does not matter. The end result is more of the focus. A person is more likely to overlook a reputation to get the job done.
Morals – Chinese society places high values on the morals of their people. Marriage is not encouraged until the late twenties. In fact, dating is discouraged early in a young adult’s life and proprieties are expected to be held up. The American culture is much more relaxed and some could even argue that there needs to be more moral emphasize.
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