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Open Chat:Thoughts and debates
Titles: Generalization vs Stereotyping Update time: Jan 12, 2013
1#
I like discussing about cultures especially the differences among Chinese culture (where I live now) Japanese culture (where I was born) and American culture (where I spent most of my adult life). Any discussion about culture must necessarily involve generalization because "culture" is a generalized concept that apply to a group of people. We cannot discuss e.g. "Chinese culture" without generalizing certain behaviors and beliefs shared by most Chinese people. Any generalization of cultural norms of a group of people has a risk of veering into stereotyping. Therefore I wanted to be clear on the difference between generalization and stereotyping when discussing cultures. By generalization we look at tendencies of a majority of a cultural group (say Chinese people as a whole) in the areas of values beliefs and certain behavior patterns. More importantly when we say "Chinese people are such and such" it does not mean that a particular Chinese person is such and such. It simply means that if we have a large number of Chinese people we will see "such and such" behaviors shared by the majority of these people. Of course some generalizations may be inaccurate. Stereotyping is a subset of generalization based on misinformation and most often propaganda. Stereotyping feeds on people's fear of unknowns enhanced by people's tendency to believe what everyone else believes. That is once a significant fraction of people hold a stereotyping view of another group of people it tends to self-perpetuate. It almost becomes a "fact." Stereotyping is also strongly associated with one's nationalistic sentiment. Hidden in any stereotyping view is a self-comforting message that says "I am not like that." Because people tend to accept comforting views more easily than inconvenient ones cultural stereotypes (or actually caricatures) have a great staying power. I try to be careful not to be influenced by various kinds of cultural stereotypes of China/Chinese people that I must have been exposed in the US. But I am a human and cannot claim I am totally free of those stereotypes. [ Last edited by goemong at 12-1-2013 17:27 ]
Titles: Update time: Jan 13, 2013
2#

Original posted by goemong at 2013-1-12 17:26 http://www.wuhantime.com/forum/images/common/back.gif ... Stereotyping is a subset of generalization... I try to be careful not to be influenced by various kinds of cultural stereotypes of China/Chinese people ...
Yes you should be careful as a Japanese native of stereotyping Chinese persons. Especially culturally since Japanese are descending from China. Also generalizations are based on fact and stereotypes are based on spreading a fact based on one element.
Titles: Update time: Jan 13, 2013
3#
Major Parts of Japanese culture might have originally come from china but over the last 150+ years the paths each has taken for better or worse has separated including destruction/erasing of much of the old Chinese culture by the current government.
Titles: Update time: Jan 13, 2013
4#

Original posted by highlander at 2013-1-13 08:19 http://www.wuhantime.com/forum/images/common/back.gif Major Parts of Japanese culture might have originally come from china but over the last 150+ years the paths each has taken for better or worse has separated including destruction/erasing of much of t ...
I agree that Japan descends from China and the Japanese government wishes this was not the case.
Titles: Update time: Jan 13, 2013
5#
Japanese culture and Chinese culture are often seen as similar by many Westerners. But as anyone who has ever visited the two countries would tell you these cultures are as different as for example German and French cultures are. The Japanese are roughly 50-50 genetic hybrids of two ethnic groups: 1) the ancient "Jomon" people who according to DNA analysis had arrived from the South in the Paleolithic era (stone age >10-20000 years ago) and 2) relatively recent immigrants from the Korean peninsula in the Neolithic period (all the way up to some 3-4000 years ago). It is believed that the Korean immigrants brought in much of the original Chinese culture. Linguistically Japanese language is said to be a member of the Altaic language family and is distinct from Chinese language (in phonetic grammar everything). But like everything else in the Japanese culture Japanese language makes extensive use of Chinese characters including their pronunciations. Partly because Japan is an island nation and partly because Japan had an isolation policy for a long period of time (up until the late 19th century) much of what you now recognize as "Japanese culture" has evolved more or less independently from the dominant Chinese influence. What you now see is a hybrid of domestic Chinese European* and North American cultures. * Particularly Dutch and Portuguese because even during the isolation period these two countries were allowed to trade with the Shogunate government of Japan. That's how they got gun technologies for example. [ Last edited by goemong at 13-1-2013 12:08 ]
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