ERIC Number: ED066527
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1972
Reference Count: N/A
Americans and Chinese: Reflections on Two Cultures and Their People.
Hsu, Francis L. K.
This book focuses on two contrasting ways of life: the individual-centered American way and the situation-centered Chinese way. In the American way of life, the emphasis is placed upon the predilections of the individual. This is in contrast to the emphasis the Chinese put upon an individual's appropriate place and behavior among his fellow men. Additionally, there is a prominence of emotion in the American way of life as compared with a tendency of the Chinese to underplay all matters of the heart. These two sets of contrasts are interrelated. Being individual-centered, the American moves toward social and psychological isolation. His happiness tends to be unqualified ecstasy, just as his sorrow is likely to mean unbearable misery. A strong emotionality is inevitable since the emotions are concentrated in one individual. Being more situation-centered, the Chinese is inclined to be socially or psychologically dependent on others, for this situation-centered individual is tied closer to his world and his fellow men. His happiness and his sorrow tend to be mild since they are shared. These fundamental contrasts will be found at the core of the unique and deeply embedded problems and weaknesses which plague each society, such as racial and religious intolerance in America and economic poverty and bureaucratic oppression in China. (Author/JM)
Descriptors: American Culture, Anthropology, Chinese, Chinese Americans, Chinese Culture, Comparative Analysis, Cultural Differences, Economic Factors, Individualism, Industrialization, Marriage, Political Attitudes, Racial Attitudes, Religion
Doubleday Natural History Press, 501 Franklin Avenue, Garden City, N. Y. ($5.95)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: first published under the title: "Americans and Chinese: Purpose and Fulfillment in Great Civilization"