关键词：中国文化，文化动向， 个人主义， 集体主义
1. Introduction 1
2. Demonstration 3
2.1 Method and Subjects 3
2.1.1 Introduction of method and subjects 3
2.1.2 Contents of the survey 4
2.2 Results 5
2.2.1 Data of habits of study 5
2.2.2 Data of habits of forming subgroups 7
2.2.3 Data of habits of harmony orientation 8
2.3 Discussion 9
2.3.1 Comparing the results with Hofstede’s findings 9
2.3.2 The possible reasons for the changes 12
3. Conclusion 14
Works Cited 16
An Empirical Study on the Transformation of Chinese Culture: an Individualism and Collectivism perspective
Culture is created by human beings, but it can influence human beings in turn. Culture, infiltrating customs, morals, regulations and policies, exerts a great effect on individuals’ conduct, thinking and values. Anyone living under certain cultural environment will be influenced by the culture, and its impact is enduring so as to it will be deeply stereotyped only people internalize it as their beliefs or standards.1 Today, culture is being more and more important source of national vitality, cohesion and creativity and obviously, advanced culture can promote a nation’s economic, scientific and technological development. So, undoubtedly culture does make a profound difference on individuals.
Geert Hofstede, one of the earliest scholars who examined cultural values about various countries, did two surveys in 1968 and 1972 successively, which covering 116,000 staff and over fifty countries and three geographical regions. After analyzing the extensive statistics, he proposed six indentified value dimensions, namely individualism/collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, power distance, masculinity/femininity, and long-term/short-term orientation, and indulgence/restraint dimension put forward later on, to explain the differences among different cultural values. In 1980, Hofstede published Cultures and Organizations: Software of Minds, which detailedly describes his findings. “As a result of numerous scholarly studies, individualism/collectivism has been established as one of the basic pattern variables that determine human action” (Samovar et al., 184). In his research, Chinese culture is more collectivistic than individualistic. The general norms of collectivism is that “children learn to think in terms of ‘we’”, “harmony should always be maintained”, “trespass leads to shame and loss of face for self and group”and so on (Hofstede et al., 131). Nevertheless, this thesis will focus on scrutinizing Chinese culture from the collectivistic and individualistic perspective in the past the three decades’ opening-up and development.
Foreign literature of this cultural dimension is mainly about people’s tendency in different gender, status and so on conditions, from people’s performance, especially at work place, such as group work inclination and knowledge sharing intention (Decker et al., 2015; Forbes et al., 2011; Yu, 2014); and about the differences between the two cultural values showing from the researches of a certain aspect, like cooperation, the pursuit of happiness and so on (Koch et al., 2007; Steele and Lynch, 2013). And Chinese researches have studied the respective development history and characteristics (Song, 2007; Yang and Zhang, 2007); and individualistic impacts having been exerted on Chinese college students or their education, especially the disadvantages of individualism to college students’ development (Yang, 2013; Lin, 2014). Besides, there is also literature on the methods to cultivate contemporary college students (Yang, 2007). What’s more, Chinese scholars have researched the two cultural values’ differences in terms of a certain content of this cultural dimension (Li, 2014).
However, a few researches have been done to explore nowadays Chinese cultural dynamism-whether there are some changes from collectivism to individualism. Owing to the fact that college students are the most sensitive groups in society and their values have a big difference on an era’s future. Thus the purpose of this thesis is attending to examining Chinese cultural dynamism from a perspective of current college students’ individualistic/collectivistic tendency, in the context of increasing development of economy and technology and extensive conflicts between the two cultures.
This thesis will discuss the transformation of Chinese culture in three parts. In the first part, the thesis will present the some background information on literatures on this topic by Hofstede and scholars at home and abroad. The research content and its purpose are explained in this part either. In the second part the author will describe her own survey, present the results of the questionnaire and contrast the results to Hofstede’s findings to find whether there are some changes or differences, and then the author will analyze the probable reasons for the outcome of the contrast. In the last part, the conclusion of the thesis is drawn based on the research.
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