Edited By Michael B. Hinner
Traditional Value Orientations and Argumentative Tendencies in Chinese Societies
By Ling Chen and Jung Hui Becky Yeh
Ling Chen and Jung Hui Becky Yeh note that cross-cultural communication studies typically focus on general dimensions of variability among cultures and how variations may be associated with communication practices across cultures. Unfortunately, such an approach typically overlooks the variability and change within a culture. The authors, thus, take a closer look at three societies that are considered to be part of Greater China and the core of Chinese culture; namely, Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. While sharing ethnic and cultural roots, these three societies, though, have different social systems and have been governed by different philosophies and ideologies for about a century and a half, Chen and Yeh point out. That is why they sought to determine to what extent the divergent social developments have impacted the contemporary mindset, the value system, and the argumentative tendency in these three societies.
Mainland China has experienced communism for six decades and an erosion of authority as well as a somewhat dissipation of the social distinction between superior and subordinates. People do not hesitate to express their opinion as long as it does not concern the party line and politics. At the same time, the economic system created a needy society with a scarcity of material goods until about two decades ago. Hong Kong continues to see traditional numerology and ancestor worship go hand-in-hand with liberal social policies and laissez-faire capitalism. As a former British colony, it...
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