Beliefs/Religions • The three most popular religions are Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. • Buddhism-people believe in gods, destiny, fate, luck and afterlife. • Taoism-a balanced relationship between human beings and nature • Confucianism-more of a phyliospybelieft than religion
NonverbalCommunication Chinese vs. American
Facial expressions • Chinese expressions sometimes have opposite meanings that American might perceive.
Head and hand movements ■ Done less in Chinese culture than American culture Crossing your fingers American - luck if shown if hidden, negation of the situation. Chinese - numerical value of ten. Point with only the forefinger Chinese – rude, when pointing, use of the entire hand is custom.
Physical Space, Touching and Tones of voice • Space : More is required in Chinese culture than in American culture • Touching : The Chinese are less comfortable with this than Americans are • Voice tone : Chinese speak louder than Americans on average
Gestures and body language • Bowing in China is similar to the American custom of shaking hands • Chinese may be uncomfortable with showing affection to new people. • Though the Chinese may shake hands with someone from America when greeting them, any other type of physical contact is not appropriate, especially when the people involved are not of the same “status”.
Eye Contact • Americans respect this, while Chinese mainly avoid this and see it as a sign of disrespect - Staring is uncommon in the Chinese culture, especially in groups. • Chinese show respect by bowing and avoiding eye contact, especially with members in an organization with a higher position.
Compare to western culture Chinese young people Western young people Think for themselves and make their own decisions • They will study only what their parents want them to study • If there are two children in the family and not enough money for both to go to school or university, it will be the son who studies, not his sister. • They are also not permitted (by law) to marry until they are 22 and 20 years old respectively.
No right to… • No right to have more than one child in China, no matter what you ‘think’ are your ‘God given rights’. • No right to criticize the government • No one ever tells people exactly what they think. ---Much of your ‘common/ordinary’ western conversation will be considered improper if spoken in front of women, children or old people. ---Say thank you except on formal occasions, and people will look at you strangely.
Family norms • Family members do not lend money to each other, it is just given. • If someone gives you a gift you must return the honor with a gift of your own, even if you have to steal to afford it. • There is no need to say thank you to your parents for anything, for everything they do for you is their duty. • Washing, cooking and cleaning is woman’s work. • When people may unannounced visits to your house at meal times, you MUST feed them all and smile while they spit out unwanted food onto the table or floor, or blow their noses directly onto the wall or floor.
Other norms • If you refuse to drink alcohol, even if you are a non drinker, you dishonor the people who force you to drink, and force you they will. • Smoking at the dinner table during dinner is usual • In a restaurant, the moment the last person takes their last mouthful of food, everyone jumps up and leaves. There is no hanging around for coffee and a chat.
Chinese thinks… • Chinese generally do not hate people based on race. They do not look down on people because of the color of their skin, or their religion. • They merely insist that their Chinese culture is superior to foreign cultures, that Chinese culture ought to be maintained, and that foreigners should not force their foreign ways on the Chinese.
High context cultures China
China is high context culture • More common in the eastern nations than in western, and in countries with low racial diversity. • The group is valued over the individual promote group reliance. • A strong sense of tradition and history, and change little over time, such as tribal and native societies.
What is different? • When individuals from high-context and low-context cultures collaborate, there are often difficulties that occur during the exchange of information. • These problems can be separated into differences concerning "direction", "quantity" and "quality."
Common Characteristics • Knowledge is situational, relational • Less is verbally explicit or written or formally expressed • More internalized understandings of what is communicated (ex: "in-jokes") • Often used in long term, well-established relationships • Decisions and activities focus around personal face-to-face communication, often around a central, authoritative figure • Strong awareness of who is accepted/belongs vs. "outsiders"
Association • Relationships depend on trust, build up slowly, and are stable. • How things get done depends on relationships with people and attention to group process. • One's identity is rooted in groups (family, culture, work).
Interaction • High use of nonverbal elements; voice tone, facial expression, gestures, and eye movement carry significant parts of conversation. • Verbal message is indirect; one talks around the point and embellishes it. • Communication is seen as an art form-a way of engaging someone. • Disagreement is personalized. One is sensitive to conflict expressed in another's nonverbal communication. Conflict either must be solved before work can progress or must be avoided.
Learning • Multiple sources of information are used. Thinking is deductive, proceeds from general to specific. • Learning occurs by first observing others as they model or demonstrate and then practicing. • Groups are preferred for learning and problem solving. • Accuracy is valued. How well something is learned is important.