Sarah Gonzalez Chinese Culture VS American Culture It doesn’t matter what kind of ethnicity you are, or how you were brought up. Everyone is deeply rooted in their own culture. “Culture” has a different meaning to everyone. Comparing American culture to Chinese culture we will find many different meanings to the word “culture”. For example, we Americans are always looking for something bigger and better for our future, and the Chinese are content with a small reserved lifestyle with no intentions of changing it for something bigger.
A culture is a way of life of a group of people-the behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next. Growing up in America we are taught to never settle for less, that we can do anything that we set our minds too, and when we grow up we can be anyone we want to be. After all we are the “home of the brave and the land of the free”, right? The Chinese are more set on if you are a girl you are too be the homemaker, and the men are too make the money doing physical labor.
The story “I Answer to Elaine” concluded it all perfectly to me. “She continued to sign Father’s name. I threatened legal action: “That’s forgery! It’s not your name”. [Example from I Answer to Elaine] This shows that the Chinese believe that the men are dominate, head of the household, the only say so. In the American home mom and dad have a shared liability for the children and both set of parents go out into the work force. “A deep frustration set in. I was sickened by her statement’s implication for my future.
I hated helplessness, believing it unique to her alone” [Example from I Answer to Elaine]. I feel like Elaine is frustrated with her mom because she knows because of her gender her mom doesn’t expect mush out of her other than to be a care giver. This has to be confusing to Elaine when she sees all over her American friends dreaming about their big futures and what they will do. Elaine should be able to grow bigger than just a housewife. Believe it or not, but American and Chinese culture do have something’s in common. They see eye-to-eye on some aspects.
Like providing for their children “Parents work together for the well-being of their children” [Example from Article]. It is true that parents do the best they can to work towards a better financial life for their kids. That’s why many Chinese parents come over to the states, so that they can provide a better life, and a better education. They would also go to great lengths for their children no matter what the cause “Parents will risk their life for their children” [Example from Article]. Any parent would risk their life for their children no matter what ethnicity, or cultural aspect!
There is no bond like a parent and their child. Chinese and American culture has a lot more differences than similarities. To the Chinese reputation of the individual is very important. If an action will humiliate someone or ruin a reputation, it is avoided. When shame occurs, the person sacrifices their job or whatever it is that will heal the shame. In America, reputations come and go overnight and in the end usually does not matter. “Go to an American home in exurbia, and almost the first thing you do is drift towards the picture window” [Example from American space, Chinese Place].
It is true that we American’s always want something more than what we have in front of us. We are always looking forward to the big picture of our future. “Consider the traditional Chinese home. Blank walls enclose it” [Example from American Space, Chinese Place]. The Chinese are very content with what they have, and have no intensions of a “bigger picture”. They keep what they have close to them. All in all, I think we can see the difference and the similarities between the two cultures. The Chinese are set on their morals.
One is to respect all others, the men is the runner of the household, and keep your opinion to yourself. Americans don’t always follow the rules. When we don’t agree with something we are going to speak out about it, and give them out opinion. In the households sometimes there is a man of the house, and sometimes it’s a single mother running the house. I think the Chinese have a better wrap around the meaning of “culture” they stick to what they believe, and it stays that way for years. Rather than American’s missing the meaning of “culture” and worrying about what the future has to hold for them.