Each society across the globe is guided by a system of values that ensures the members of the society co-exist amicably. According to (Nederveen, 68) Chinese community has their system of values that has been established on the beliefs of Confucianism. These values have played a critical role in uniting the Chinese community irrespective of any kind of differences that might have existed among them. However, globalization has become a challenge to the value system of the Chinese. Thus posing a threat in the weakening and lose of the value system that has been in existence for over centuries. The study will focus on two Chinese values and how they have been affected by globalization. These are Xiao (filial piety) and Xin (integrity). Other values adopted by the Chinese are Ren, Yi, Zhen and Li.
Xiao value holds that the superior or elder members of the society need to be respected. The value gives the younger generation a responsibility of ensuring the elders presence are recognized and appreciated. It should be noted that the elder members in the Chinese society are linked to wisdom. Therefore, for the younger generation to gain a word of wisdom from the elderly, they will have to respect them. The respect entails providing the elderly with the needs they require, as well as, following their advices. This value played a critical role in ensuring a family or a community at large were united, since the elderly advices were perceived to be at the best interest of the community and had to be respected (Kleeman, & Barrett, 35). Superior members of the society, for instance, the authority had to be given the respect it deserves by the Chinese. Chinese were ruled by several Emperors, who were respected because they represented the people and their decisions were to be implemented as a sign of respect.
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Chinese people understand the value of trustworthy and instilled it into their value system. Xin (integrity) refers doing the right thing regardless of the situation one is at any given moment (Colson, 51). Honesty and taking up responsibility for every action one takes, proves the level of integrity one possesses. A society where people do not believe in truth is a society that is on its way to collapse. Leaders who desire to govern the people of Chinese need to be of impeccable integrity that cannot be questioned. This value champions the need for people to enjoy the benefits from their own sweat. Therefore, it encourages the Chinese people to believe in working hard to achieve or gain what they desire rather than using other dubious means. The value of integrity in the People’s Republic of China has played a role in ensuring any form of corruption is not tolerated.
Western world is considered to be the motherland of all form of liberations. The Western society value system tends to differ with that of the Chinese; however, some values are similar. Respecting elders or parents in the Republic of China and the Western world is common. However, how this respect is exercised differs. For instance, in China a child regardless of their age has to respect their elders. This might not be the case in the Western world, where a child attains the age of sixteen the decision to show respect to their parents is vested upon them. In addition to that authority, in the Western world welcomes any form of criticism from the public. Criticizing the authority in China is interpreted as a sign of disrespectful, thus against the values of Confucianism (Colson, 83). Disciplining a child for wrongdoing is advocated in China as a means of ensuring the child grows up with the right values. Western world is against harsh disciplining of children.
Considering the differences on how the value of respect is exercised in the People’s Republic of China and Western World, it can be noted that the way of life of the Western world has an impact on the Chinese value system. Currently, Chinese students pursue their education in different institutions across the Western world. According to (Kleeman, & Barrett, 69) pose a challenge to the Chinese system of values it has adopted over centuries, this is because the students will be influenced on the philosophy of being liberal practiced in the Western world. Instances of people questioning the government exhibited by civil societies in China have been on the rise, yet it was unheard or witnessed. This indicates that the respect that had been placed on leaders or authority in China has now been compromised with the Western way of life. Therefore, weakening of the Chinese value system is underway as more students move to the Western world in search for education.
Honesty is considered as a virtue in any society, therefore, the Western world and the Chinese believe integrity as vital element in the growth of the community. Chinese have held integrity with the highest value that has been passed over from generation to generation has a vital value. Globalization has brought the world into a global village and the interaction of persons of different culture has increased. It is unlikely for a Chinese to cheat or engage in any fraudulent activity because this will be contrary to the value system adopted by the Chinese. In the Western world, though integrity is considered to be an important value instances of dishonest are witnessed. For instance, scandals within the government in the Western world exhibit lack of integrity among leaders (Lewis, 27). China has undergone rapid modernization which has impacted positively to its economy; this development can be attributed to the interaction between China and the Western world. Continuous interaction between the Chinese people and the Western world would lead to adoption of vices exhibited by scams thus weakening the integrity value.
It is indisputable that different cultures make the world adventurous. However, interaction of different culture has an impact on each culture by either lowering value system or enhancing it. In the above discussed case, the Chinese value system has been compromised by the values system of the Western world due to interaction brought by globalization. To ensure the preserved value system of the Chinese is not lost, despite the interaction with the outside world, the younger generation plays a critical role. Therefore, the younger Chinese generation needs to be informed on the value enshrined in the adopted Chinese value system. In addition to that, they should respect and appreciate other cultures and pick values that can complement the existing Chinese value system rather than weakening it.
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- Kleeman, T. F., and T. Barrett. The ancient Chinese world. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. Print.
- Lewis, B. What went wrong?: Western impact and Middle Eastern response. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print.
- Nederveen, P. J. Globalization and culture: Global mélange. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004. Print.