What exactely are Western & Chinese values?


#1

I think a question that should be asked is what exactely are Western Values and what exactely are Chinese Values? I think there will be many opinions on this.


#2

I assume that “Western” means “white”…? I see the fundamental differences as rooted in biology, especially characteristic hormonal levels. This affects any number of aspects of our behaviour such as propensity to commit violent crime, age of first sex and first childbirth, and even lifespan. (Under similar conditions, East Asians live longer than whites live longer than blacks.) Remember that prior to settling in East Asia, the ancestors of today’s Orientals nomadized across the limits of the great ice sheets in basically arctic-type conditions, where cooperation and group harmony was essential.

Chinese are less independent, more obedient to authority. This allows them to live together in large families where their own interests are subsumed into others, especially their elders. It also means that their educational system emphasizes rote memorization rather than creativity, which seems to be much more difficult for them. (Creativity means doing something different from what authority figures tell you, maybe even contradicting them.)

White cultures emphasize fairness and equality. Chinese emphasize personal connections. This encourages reliance on extended social networks, including their huge families. It also means that there’s a lot of behaviour which whites would see as brown-nosing, cronyism, and corruption. A Chinese who decided to emphasize fairness and equality wouldn’t get far, or have as many children who would pass on those genes (or memes, or whatever you think they are).

Chinese have large family networks, but interestingly, tend to form small businesses. (Whites–and Japanese, for that matter–are more likely to aspire to join an existing company, often preferring a large one.) Perhaps this reflects distrust of others, from whom they do not expect fair or equal treatment.


#3

A good one.

As a matter of fact, I believe that the Chinese culture is a more egoistic one than the foreign culture. Shame counts more than personal guilt. Getting a Taiwanese to admit a personal fault is hard - I usually freak out if my better half tries to pull that off on me.


#4

With all due respect to Lou Bega (who doesn’t really deserve it):

Racist Mambo Number 5

Little pseudo-science on the run.
A little bit of Darwin in the sun.
Little bit of Spengler’s all I need
When I sit down for a good misread.

Little bit of history on the side.
Pretty big gaps I try to hide.
Little socio-biology to make it shine.
Misinterpret it all, but that’s just fine.

Little bit of mindless KKK.
Little white supremacy, hey, hey, hey.
Little white bread and slice of spam.
All makes me your racist man.


#5

Western vs. Chinese Values are clearly reflected in the work place.

Generally speaking…

The Western business culture is very much a meritocracy. If you are a sharp kick ass self starter, you will do very well and will be able to reach the upper corporate echelon at a young age.

Whereas in Taiwan and China, we have a seniority based business culture, steming from Confuscian philosophy, where one should always respect your elders. So, if you are a sharp kick ass self starter, you will not get near the upper echelon until your retiring age.


#6

[quote=“Rampage”]
So, if you are a sharp kick ass self starter, you will not get near the upper echelon until your retiring age.[/quote]

Not true. There’s so much turnover in Taiwan (especially right after the red envelope season) that you can reach seniority in a year.


#7

Definitely. But I disagree with your views on work habits. From what I’ve seen, more westerners work with greater intensity (HARDER? maybe not…), but in short spurts, and work is often entirely separated from the rest of their lives. We are also paid more for our efforts, at least in Taiwan.

Chinese, on the other hand, tend to work LONGER, putting in very long days but at a more casual pace, with lots of breaks, chat-time, meals and the like. Work and home life are often one in the same, at least more so than with most westerners. In the end they will sometimes achieve better results, though from what I see, a lot of the work is unnecessary “busy work”. The long days often mean less of a social life, which probably explains the “chat-time”.


#8

JeffG, how in the world can we define Western values? Members of my own family disagree radically on issues of religion, abortion, career choice, sexual mores, work ethic, etc. The West comprises dozens of countries.

Sorry to be a party pooper, but I don’t see how this can be done. Perhaps narrowing the focus, as seems to have occured naturally here, is in order.

T.


#9

Does Western = white? Good question. Does white = Western? I don’t have any answers, just more questions. Most would agree that Chinese culture and Japanese culture and both Asian cultures. And that French culture and German culture are both Western cultures. French and German are ethnically white. So in that respect, I guess the term “Western” refers to traditionally white cultures.

If Western=white then Russian, Jewish, Turkish, and Armenian cultures are Western cultures, is that right? Spanish, yes, so then Modern Latin American cultures are Western, too? I can’t quite get my head around the term Western since to me there seems to be quite a difference between “modern” Western cultures and “traditional” ones.


#10

FWIW:

These definitions of “west” from the American Heritage Dictionary seem to be relevant:

  1. often West a. The western part of the earth, especially Europe and the Western Hemisphere. …4. c. The noncommunist countries of Europe and the Americas.

And for western:

… 5. Western. Of, relating to, or descended from those Christian churches that use or formerly used Latin as their liturgical language.

I tend to associate “Chinese values” with Confucian values: filial piety, respect for elders, etc. I’m less clear on what “Western values” means, but “Western” does not imply “white” to me.


#11

[quote=“Tomas”]JeffG, how in the world can we define Western values? Members of my own family disagree radically on issues of religion, abortion, career choice, sexual mores, work ethic, etc. The West comprises dozens of countries.

Sorry to be a party pooper, but I don’t see how this can be done. Perhaps narrowing the focus, as seems to have occured naturally here, is in order.

T.[/quote]

Tomas,

This topic came out of this discussion a few days: forums.segue.com.tw/viewtopic.php?t=7338
Chinese Family “Values” in the open forum. I had originally posted this question there.

I cannot define western values either, nor can I define Chinese values. And western means all western countries, not just whites. My point is there will certainly be quite different views on values depending on your family background, race, religion, sex, etc. etc. etc. There is no right or wrong answer…


#12

…yes, no right answer, people just feel the need to set ‘their’ group apart from others and label the other group as this or that. this kind of shit gets recycled on expat forums the world over and as of this moment i have tired of it…for f’s sake, this thread was spwaned from another on about how ONE family treat their grandmother who had HIV!!! the poster(s) were then able to say all sorts about chinese family values based one that…or perhaps it was just a catalyst…in any case, there is a lot of really dark shit going on everywhere and i dont have the blinkers on for one second. I really feel that because we are fish out of water here, then we become really sensetive to the little annoyances of daily life…yes people do push and shove me on the mrt, even when im being polite and letting people by me. I experienced the same in Lodon (im from the north of england, less srowded) , and that goes for a lot of the shit that we encounter here.


#13

london, crowded…sorry


#14

When I think of Western values I think of the mix of ideas that derive from Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian influences on later thinkers such as John Locke… Individualism and personal freedom coupled with associate responsibilities.

When I think of Chinese values, I think primarily of Confucianism tempered or lightly balanced with philosophical Daoism and inspired by Buddhism. I think of Collectivism and hierarchical designations of duty and responsibility.


#15

WORKPLACE VALUES

West = Work Smart

East = Work lonnnnnnnnnggggggggggg hours

West = High pay because we value quality of living

East = Low pay because they don’t care about quality of living

West = western bosses are cheap

East = asian bosses are SUPER CHEAP

FAMILY LIFE VALUES

West = Children are raised as if they are children, nutured and loved

East = Children are raised as if they are INVESTMENTS, so they could make alot of money to give to their parents when they grow up

West = message to children = just be happy

East = message to children = be a lawyer, doctor, millionaire

SOCIAL VALUES

West = individual is important

East = individual is part of the hive mind

West = privacy is key

East = everyone has a right to listen to your phone conversation


#16

Muchaman, that’s very clever. However you do not actually express any specific criticisms, you only imply that my views are flawed. Please enlighten me.

Several of you point out that neither China nor “the West” are monolithic. And yet, it still makes sense to talk about them. There is something there, even if it is difficult to express with any precision. It is like talking about “chairs.” Even if we can’t define “chair” with any precision, the word still means something.

Most people would view the Middle East as a distinct culture-area from the West, though they both trace themselves to Greco-Roman civilization and the Hebrew prophets. Russia and Armenia would be Western, and as for Turkey…well, let’s call it a special borderline case.


#17

My (multi-ethnic) god, Vincent, it’s just too great a task. But, I’m always game so here’s a short reply:

You could well be describing the very white, western male average Roman citizen under the Republic. Obedient to authority could also well be used to describe the Arian masses under the Nazi’s. Or most of the population under the auspices of the Holy Roman Empire. Many members of the 60’s generation would use it to describe their toadying, corporate climbing, flag-waving, fag hating, commie bashing, conservative, obsequious parents, uncles, aunts, neighbors and peers.

As Nietzsche said, these are the values of the slave.

Are you an American? Even if you are not have you read any newspapers in the past year? All we have read over the past year is how the wealthy and elite live by a completely different set of rules. And are monstrously rewarded for it.

In any case, a little more history would ENLIGHTEN you to where and when those values began to form. And just how long the struggle was to bring them to light. White culture values fairness and equality? Do you know how difficult it was freeing the slaves in America? Or more recently, getting the right to form unions and march and protest peacefully against the government?

White cultures emphasize fairness and equality? Except where birth, class and money are concerned.

The average married couple in Taiwan is having one at most two children now. Are we to conclude that fairness and equality will flow as a result? No, this conclusion is as nonsensical as yours.

By the way, all pre-modern people, east or west, tend to have large extended families.

This is true of the post-war Japanese and was the result of massive propaganda campaigns by the Japanese government. Similarly, now they are trying to encourage a more entrepreneurial spirit. Separately, when was it last true that “whites” prefer to work for large companies?

I’ve got to go now but I’ll get to some examples of the noble mind of the Chinese. If I think it isn’t a lost cause I may also address you “hormone” theory. Oh and I may also tackle your Asiatic nomad ideas. Strange how you use the factors of ice age living to explain the contemporary herding behavior of Asians, while others use it to explain the superior intelligence of whites. I guess we became smarter having to adapt to extreme behavior but the Asian just became more, well, Asian, I guess.

God, why am I even wasting my time.


#18

[quote] All we have read over the past year is how the wealthy and elite live by a completely different set of rules. And are monstrously rewarded for it.
[/quote]

Screw values, sounds like trying to get rich is a better deal.


#19

christ! im stooping to calling the above, a moron!!

MORON

im no apologist but… what do you know of 'east’ern children? working in buxuban’s only gives an insight into the values of the wealthy and privalaged. to assert that western children are nurtured and loved, thus insinuation that eastern children are not…is absurd…that post is full of blinkered, UTTERLY subjective, SHITE
and these 2 statements astounded me with their ingorance…

“West = High pay because we value quality of living”

“East = Low pay because they don’t care about quality of living”

also the individual v group thing has been done to death. boring


#20

[quote=“Southpaw”]christ! im stooping to calling the above, a moron!!

MORON

im no apologist but… what do you know of 'east’ern children? working in buxuban’s only gives an insight into the values of the wealthy and privalaged. to assert that western children are nurtured and loved, thus insinuation that eastern children are not…is absurd…that post is full of blinkered, UTTERLY subjective, SHITE
and these 2 statements astounded me with their ingorance…

“West = High pay because we value quality of living”

“East = Low pay because they don’t care about quality of living”

also the individual v group thing has been done to death. boring[/quote]

Southpaw, I’m giving you some of my karma for your response to ar-grp’s post. I second and third the motion. Perhaps he or she should consider waiting until junior high school graduation before joining an adult discussion group.