When I asked for more details, she came up with a list of issues that she had never mentioned during the relationship, all out of a desire to not induce confrontation). In the West people drive cars in the way the law and the individual deem as right, with no shame from what observers might think. share their thoughts. Basically Westerners seem always to have been individualistic externalists, whereas the Chinese seem always to have been society-favoring internalists. They feel a strong sense of unity. The Universal does not exist by itself, according to Western thinking. Chinese have a strong system of respect. A Christian worldview includes a belief in absolute truth: one God created us all and has standards that apply to all people, and guilt is experienced if God's standards are not met. While China is surrounded by huge mountain ranges, deserts, and ocean , Western (European) nations have been surrounded by relatively smaller geographical obstacles and … If that's what you're thinking about, see our bestsellers: Traditionally, in China "the travel agency is right"; in the West "the customer is right". In the West, independence and freedom of choice are highly valued. With us you can have a tour tailor-made from your requests. The founders of the contrasting philosophies of Confucianism and Rationalism all lived around 500 BC, but in quite different environments, as discussed above. For Chinese there is a recurring process of improvement (i.e. While the modern influences of capitalism and consumerism are shared the world over, established thought processes in China and the West have produced differing responses and tensions in modern society. Christianity has been the prevalent worldview in the West (Europe) since about 300 AD. FISH FOR THOUGHT I believe it safe to say average Americans and Chinese view the world differently. In the West there is an emphasis on innovation and competition. In China, many people are prepared to do things for the good of society. The differences between Eastern and Western thought can be clearly seen in modern society, despite globalization and unifying influences. Chinese Culture vs. Western and American Culture There are many different aspects on Ancient Chinese culture that differ from Western and American culture. Origins of Systems Thinking To put it simply, the roadmap of Western systems thinking emerged from reductionism to holism, while the Chinese roadmap emerged from holism to reductionism to dialectic unity of the two. with no definite end goal that can be reached. (Analects of Confucius II, 3). As the guest, you are allowed to sit through the entire visit without even touching the cup, since the host was just doing his duty by offering it to you, despite your personal preference to decline. Recent years have witnessed a heated debate in the Chinese military academia about traditional strategic culture and its impact on modern military thinking. Westerners focus on getting to the end goal using the most efficient method (i.e. In one sense, the Confucian ethic is egalitarian, though not in Western sense where everyone has equal standing and opportunity within society. The usual Western way is … (See the Chinese interpretation of Christianity on Christianity in China.). People in the East tend to look at the whole picture and all the details, whereas people in the West concentrate on the main point or goal. Here are five cultural differences in thinking and perception between the East and West. It can be said that generally the West has a Christian moral framework. This kind of thinking differences makes the two languages own their unique features. Lead them with excellence and put them in their place through roles and ritual practices, and in addition to developing a sense of shame, they will order themselves harmoniously." Differences in Eastern (Chinese) and Western thinking may stem from something as simple as where people have lived. (Personal note: I have experienced this first hand, when a former girlfriend broke up with me out of the blue, when I thought all was well. A generalized summary: While Westerners were exploring the world: fighting with, trading with, living with, and conquering other nations, while at the same time letting other nations across their borders; the Chinese were consumed with controlling things within their own borders, minding their own business, developing their own culture, and keeping others out. "Lead the people with administrative injunctions and put them in their place with penal law, and they will avoid punishments but will be without a sense of shame. "Western thought" on the other hand can be represented by an 'I' (for "Individual" or 'the first person singular' or someone standing on their own). All Rights Reserved. Others believe that ancestors not are even aware of what their descendants do for them, but the expression of filial piety is still important. It might surprise you how people from two different cultures can have such different thinking and attitudes! In China primary reaction to personal 'bad behavior' is shame, but only if society judges the behavior as bad. The short answer is it used to be a lot, and there aren’t much difference any more. Isolated, hostile geography may have contributed to insular thinking, and accessible geography may have promoted more individual and externalized thinking. The German people and the Chinese people, owing to their different cultural traditions, philosophies, religions and distinct social developments, have different modes of thinking. Westerners like to externalize, i.e. Chinese honor them as symbols of God. When rejecting others’ offers or requests of help, it is best to do so with a polite excuse rather than a flat out refusal, in order to maintain the dignity of the relationship. In the West the main reaction is guilt, and this is personally driven by the individual, according to what he/she thinks is wrong. Not being up front with your opinions and ideas might be considered rude in Western culture, whereas in Chinese culture it is considered polite, since by doing so they are allowing you to save face. Differences in Eastern (Chinese) and Western thinking may stem from something as simple as where people have lived. In particular we focus on the debate between reductionism and holism which is one of the classical subjects of study in the philosophy of science. In China people generally accept what authority figures say, and express agreement (even if they don't agree). There are not many practicing Taoists or Buddhists in China today, but there are very many ancestor venerators. Buddhism arrived in China in the first century AD, with similar principles to Taoism. Different conflicts: In China, the selfishness of consumerism conflicts with an inbuilt regard for family and society. Chinese people like to internalize, i.e. fourteen }. It takes all sorts of thinking to make the world go round, and globalization is increasingly bringing both ends of the spectrum together. The forces of capitalism are now driving competition and innovation in China, which often goes against the grain, and consistency is also a goal in the West, but more difficult to achieve there. Chinese vs Western Culture. It promotes holistic and accepting thought and behavior, and claims no absolute truth. Not being up front with your opinions and ideas might be considered rude in Western culture, whereas in Chinese culture it is considered polite, since by doing so they are allowing you to save face. Similarly, the Western tradition has certainly housed strains of thought that do view the state as more of a natural outgrowth of small human groups such as family and community. are now driving competition and innovation in China, which often goes against the grain, and consistency is also a goal in the West, but more difficult to achieve there. Chinese philosophy (Confucianism) can be summarized as: Socrates and Plato, the founders of rationalism, taught individual understanding, through rational deductive thought, as the basis for comprehending the world. heavily stereotyped, generalized, and polarized. ) But, hopefully through this article, you can understand how and why Chinese thought has developed and can appreciate some of its benefits. Hopefully you will also be more understanding of the culture of the people of China, especially if you come to visit yourself. This is also why it is so important to keep making contacts in order to enter the circles of others. © 2020 ChineseLearnOnline.com. While China is surrounded by huge mountain ranges, deserts, and ocean, Western (European) nations have been surrounded by relatively smaller geographical obstacles and more navigable seas. Understanding this nature within Chinese people is important, since it is easy to otherwise assume that their silence indicates agreement. Another big difference in thinking between Chinese and Western societies is … Even if you politely decline, you will still be offered tea as the default. Compared with the thinking way of the western people, the mode of thinking of Chinese people has obvious vagueness, after a long time, it forms their thinking way. the school system, exercises, politeness, rituals). This article discusses the many important differences in the thinking styles between Chinese and European North Americans (Americans and Canadians of European descent), as Chinese thought processes have always been difficult to comprehend. "Eastern thought" can be represented by an 'O' (for "Our" or a ring of people linking hands). The main differences between the school of thought or the philosophies of the East and West are the West’s Individualism and the East’s Collectivism. In the East (China) there is an emphasis on consistency through formulas and repetition (e.g. Another big difference in thinking between Chinese and Western societies is the difference between “friends” and “strangers.” Assistance between Chinese parties is only given to those in the “inner circle” which is why the concept of guanxi is so important. Here is one of the great divides between Western and Chinese ways of thinking and writing. Here is the great difference between Western thinking and Eastern thinking. Understanding this nature within Chinese people is important, since it is easy to otherwise assume that their silence indicates agreement. In Western society, the individual rules. You can see this when you are offered a choice of drink before a meeting or when visiting someone’s house. 2. However, when China departed from absolute monarchy it went the route of single-party republicanism and communism, whereas the West has adopted democracy. It can be explained as the classifying feeling course of distinguishing and simplifying o outside objects. While Communism is not practiced in China today, its influence lingers in education and strong one-party government control of commerce and the populace. Try out an online course to discover a new hobby, learn a new language, or even change career. Chinese thinking mode is visual, so Chinese tends to concrete in wording. We won’t go down to exhaust all possible differences, like the brand of restaurants Chinese go to .vs. An equivalent payback of some sorts is then expected in the future. Differences discussed include emphasis given to bigger/smaller units, tense, direct/indirect expression, individualism, appropriate behavior, linear vs. circular thinking patterns. Generally, Chinese motives are society-driven, and Western motives are individual-driven. ZHENG (1992) said in his book A Comparative Study on Cultures in China and the West that English is a language of sound which has inflection and stress and highlights creation while Chinese is a language , We found Chinese Yin-Yang thinking was compatible with Western critical thinking practices but revealed an ability to develop more encompassing creative solutiuons to resolving the given paradox. This means people who grow up in different cultures not only think about different things but also think differently. Understanding this culture is very valuable in determining where assistance should be given to others, as well as what is expected of you if you receive it. The conclusion from all of this, when comparing Chinese versus their Western counterparts, is that the former are more likely to go out of their way to help friends and people in their circle of influence, whereas the latter are more likely to go out and help strangers. If one wishes to discern meanings in Chinese discourse, one must often look to the silences, the hesitations, the circumlocutions, diversions, and euphemisms. The key difference is that Chinese naive dialecticism does not regard contradiction as illogical and tends to accept the harmonious unity of opposites. At China Highlights we've adopted "Western thinking", and will do our best to accommodate your requirements. "a straight line"). Communism fits the Eastern (Chinese) thought tenets outlined above, with its emphasis on society, common ownership and production, and egalitarian conformity, encouraging cyclic repetition, and holistic, accepting, internalized thought. Until recent centuries, Eastern and Western nations were all governed by a single ruler (and this tended to promote "Eastern thought"). Though modern China has moved past these narrowly defined roles, the Chinese today are still used to thinking … This is because it allows us to engage in an interesting comparison. During group meetings, a Westerner is more likely to bring up arguments or disagree with the topic at hand. Basically there are four ancient influences (geography, history, philosophy, and religion) and three modern influences (government, capitalism, and consumerism). In any case this ancestor veneration has again influenced thought in the direction of repetition, society, and shame. It is also common for people to not stop and help others during vehicle accidents, so as not to get involved with people they don’t know. Any deviation from these principles makes you stand out in a negative way. That is why Westerners have expressed serious curiosity about and appreciation of the philosophical endeavours of the Chinese and the cognitive … The difference, in a certain sense, represents the difference between Eastern and Western cultures and the difference between thair modes of thinking. Taoism developed in China from the fourth century BC with principles of harmony and cyclic repetitious processes. Democracy, in its externalized focus on the individual, transparency (the truth will out), and questioning of government, can be seen to encourage "Western thought" even more than Communism and single-party government encourages "Eastern thought". Chinese New Year (which is coming up soon) is useful for clearing “debts” among friends in this manner. Harmony is considered more important than pointing out faults, so, when a fault must be mentioned, great care is taken to avoid giving offense. Chinese wear white. They don't say "our" so much. In the past Eastern (Chinese) and Western cultures have had very different formative influences, leading to major differences in thinking. Chinese values would require the person to keep his opinions to himself in such an environments. You rarely see beggars on the streets in Chinese communities, and those you do see are usually seen approaching foreigners, whome they are more likely to get assistance from. The Individual. While in the East respect is taken for granted, in the West respect is earned, and criticism is typically direct and unveiled. However, in China people buy cars to fit in, whereas in the West people buy cars to stand out! It is said that one's thinking patterns change depending on one's experiences. Though Christianity teaches love for all people, unity, and an acceptance of God's word, its (Protestant) interpretation in the West tends to support individual, focused, linear progress ("innovation") towards a heavenly goal, and a questioning attitude in the pursuit of truth. East is east, and West is west; never the twain shall meet. Not all Chinese (or Westerners) think this way, but these are observed tendencies. They also taught segregated thinking, in terms of the body and soul, individual and society, etc. Thus is it safe to say that Eastern philosophy is classical Chinese, while Western philosophy is more Latin in its roots. display: none !important; In the Chinese world, politeness is part of a basic set of principles that has to be followed by all. When it comes to etiquette and ways of doing things, there are some key differences between how the Chinese operate versus how Westerners do so. XHTML: You can use these tags:
, +  In the Western approach to systems thinking there are similar concepts of holistic thinking, synergism, and cause and effect. the west. During weddings and occasions where red envelopes are exchanged, the amounts of money given and the donors are duly noted since the same amount would be expected to be paid back at future events. Sentence-making and thought patterns: Probe into the differences between English and Chinese 56 thought patterns. CONCRETE THINKING AND ENGLISH WRITING Generally speaking, the thinking mode of westerners tends to be abstract while Chinese thinking is always concrete. In some cases, a third party may be used to convey negative news from one side to another, in order to avoid confrontations. Differences in Eastern (Chinese) and Western thinking may stem from something as simple as where people have lived. Western dialectical thinking is fundamentally consistent with the laws of formal logic, and aggressive in the sense that contradiction requires synthesis rather than mere acceptance. Many things such as education, marriage, and community type can be different from what we have in our Western civilization. Western philosophy can be summarized as follows: Although all the religions/beliefs covered below have Eastern roots, Christianity (particularly Protestantism) has developed according to and reinforced "Western thinking", whereas Taoism, Buddhism, and ancestor veneration dovetail with "Eastern thinking". Different goals: Capitalism means that everyone is out to earn more, but in China wealth is (more) happily or customarily shared within the (extended) family and nation, whereas in the West wealth is (more) focused towards individual and private advancement. Chinese Culture vs Western Culture Between the Chinese culture and Western culture, we can identify a number of differences. This paper presents a comparison between Chinese perspectives on systems thinking and ideas from the West, primarily the U.S. and the U.K. Some differences between Western and Chinese thought patterns are highlighted to help language teachers better prepare teaching strategies for Chinese-speaking students. Descartes, "the father of modern Western philosophy", was also a rationalist, famous for his statement "Cognito ergo sum" — "I think, therefore I am". Westerners think of dragons as monsters. Some people believe their departed ancestors need to be provided for by descendants. "things occur in cycles") with no definite end goal that can be reached. "everyone must have a car to feel good". It exists as a corollary followed from the observation of many particulars. 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