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Open Chat:Thoughts and debates
Titles: Culture shock and ethnocentrism Update time: Jan 12, 2013
Ethnocentrism is the "tendency to look at the world primarily from the perspective of one's own ethnic culture" (http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Ethnocentrism). According to the same site the term ethnocentrism was coined by William G. Sumner who defined it as "the technical name for the view of things in which one's own group is the center of everything and all others are scaled and rated with reference to it." If you grow up in a particular culture eventually you will harbor the view that whatever the values and behaviors of people in your culture are the "norm." Furthermore strongly ethnocentric individuals tend to view their own culture (values and people's behavior patterns) as not just different from but more valuable relative to other cultures. When we go to a different country most of us will inevitably experience "culture shock." People around you are not behaving the way you think they "should." While most people can adapt to the "new norm" at least to some extent there are some who cannot or refuse to adapt. These people see no point adapting to the values and behaviors that according to their world view have less or no values compared to their own. It's not unusual for people to feel most comfortable with those who share the same culture. Thus we have Chinatowns all over the States and "laowai" hangouts in every major city in China. Language barrier is no doubt one major reason for this but one's ethnocentrism also plays no small role (I've seen that Chinese students in America even if they can speak decent English still almost always sit with fellow Chinese students in cafeteria). [ Last edited by goemong at 12-1-2013 22:20 ]
Titles: Update time: Jan 13, 2013
Are there "laowai" hangouts in Wuhan? For Japanese natives?
Titles: Update time: Jan 13, 2013
I do admit I have ethnocentrism sometimes but the only culture shock I had upon coming to China was the fact that people can smoke almost anywhere. I went to a mall in Changsha and some guy just lit up a cigarette I was beyond confused at that moment and thats when I learned you can smoke almost everywhere in China (I'm not to big a fan of this I don't want to smell your smoke while I'm eating....) Oh guess I was wrong there was one other thing that surprised me.. But I didn't see this until I came to Wuhan people just spitting/blowing snot/urinating wherever they feel. That's just gross..... As for sticking with other 老外 I never really did that either. I honestly don't even know any of the other Americans around my school. I don't understand the concept of "We come from the same place lets be friends." I see so many people doing this but I don't want to be your friend because we were born in the same place i want to be your friend because we have common interest. [ Last edited by allnighter453 at 13-1-2013 13:23 ]
Titles: Update time: Jan 13, 2013

Original posted by allnighter453 at 2013-1-13 13:19 http://www.wuhantime.com/forum/images/common/back.gif I do admit I have ethnocentrism sometimes but the only culture shock I had upon coming to China was the fact that people can smoke almost anywhere...
First day I was ever in China I went into an elevator and 2 guys lit up cigarettes. C'est la vie (except secondhand smoke kills the same)
Titles: Update time: Jan 14, 2013
allnighter453 one thing I have had a lot of trouble with (and I still haven't figured out how to deal with it) is the tendency of many Chinese to give favoritism to families and cronies. This is not necessarily a bad thing in everyday life. But when the favoritism started to involve business dealings it could get quite troubling to the eyes of Westerners including myself. The line between corruption and Confucian family ideals can become blur. But a bunch of business people will bring in their own families (and/or cronies) to the table irrespective of whether they are the "right" persons or not. It really goes against the spirit of western style meritocracy. But this is the norm in many (if not most) business dealings here. Don't get surprised if your business partner in China one day brings in the entire extended family to your meeting. The other side of the same coin is even funnier. Even when you are dealing with total strangers we pretend that we are good "friends." Thus you go through endless rounds of friendly socialization rituals BEFORE we even start talking about business. Yes gifts are exchanged and we both "compete" for which side is entertaining the other side more. Frankly all those stupid social rituals are VERY tiring to me (so I often skip them) because I'm a kind of guy who wants to separate business relationship from personal friendship. But it's hard to work that way here. [ Last edited by goemong at 14-1-2013 02:01 ]