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Compare and contrast essay between two countries- United States vs. China
Living in a culture that is different from ours can either be an exciting or a challenging experience. Learning how different people do their things differently from us is an experience to behold. China in the East and the U.S in the west are two countries which in neo times have been regarded as fierce rivals in matters economics. This distinction in how the two countries run their affairs delves deeper when it comes to the cultural aspect. The essence of this essay is to enlighten us more on the various differences between the two global giants in relation to their geographical and demographic aspects, cultural norms and values infrastructural system and even the social norms of the different people.
It is of great essence to delve first into the geographic and demographic aspect of the two countries. China is located in eastern Asia where it borders East China Sea, Yellow Sea, Korea Bay and south China sea between North Korea and Vietnam. Whereas the United States borders the North Atlantic ocean and the North Pacific ocean between Canada and Mexico. China boasts a population of 1, 379,302,771 people as at July whereas the United States boasts a population of 326,625,791 people as of July 2017.
A major difference between the United States and China is their understanding of individuality and freedom. Basically, the Chinese culture emphasizes more on the culture of collectivism whereas the America culture emphasizes more on individualism. With the Chinese culture, individualism is considered very strange and sometimes even dangerous. A Chinese in most cases will consider how his/her acts will affect a larger group rather than how it will affect them personally. Individualism in the United States is paramount and sometimes considered as the reason for its success as a world power. Here people tend to look at issues on a more personal scale rather than on a collective scale.
Moral values tend to be another distinctive trait that differentiates the two countries. Whereas the United States culture in relation to morals tends to be laid back, the Chinese society places a high value on the morals of their people. ‘Marriage is not encouraged until the late twenties in fact dating is discouraged in a young’s adult life and proprieties are expected to be held up.’ (Usatoday.com, 2015)’. On the same note, it is worth looking at the respect aspect of the two aforementioned cultures, the Chinese tend to be highly appreciative and warm towards their guests. They will spend their resources not only in accommodating them but also making them feel honored and respected. The old in the Chinese society is revered and respected while the young are cherished and nurtured. ‘In an American family independence is highly regarded where children are encouraged to mature and leave the house as soon as possible whereas children who stay longer than their late teen years are seen as lazy and mooching off their parents’ (Vergemagazine.com, 2017)
With the robust economies of the two countries, time sensitivity has and will always be a discerning factor of the two countries. Most Americans tend to be time sensitive when it comes to meetings and deadlines. For instance, if a meeting is to commence at 7:00 am then all parties are to present at that time. The Chinese tend to view time more of a suggestion than an absolute, their concern is not expressed for a meeting starting late or whether not beating a certain deadline. ‘If a report is due on Friday an American would be waiting for that report to be received before the end of business day. The Chinese would not worry if it showed up several hours after the deadline’ (owlcation.com, 2010)
Its feeding time and again there are some differences between these two giants. When serving Chinese food in most settings is eaten from communal dishes whereas the American s love their food served up in individual portions. Also when it comes to the food composition the Chinese may fancy some more vegetables and less meat compared to the American. ‘A lot of food is cooked with garlic and there is also some heavy emphasis on vegetables and fish, at least in the rural areas where meat is more expensive’. (College.usatoday.com) Not also forgetting about the feeding style, the Chinese dishes tend to contain sliced and diced ingredients to facilitate the use of chopsticks while feeding whereas the average American his meal prepared in such a way to facilitate the use of a fork and knife. On the same note, the Chinese want his meal flavored with dried and cut whole chili peppers the American tends to go slow on the spices preferring manufactured chili sauce.
The social structure which can be defined as the organized set of social institutions and classes that together compose a society tends to greatly vary between the two cultures. The Chinese culture tends to be more classist whereby their structure tends to be more formal and hierarchical. You know hare you fit in the structure and you abide by the rules there. There is no crossing into other areas’. (owlcation.com, 2010) In America, however, the structure tends to be more relaxed and informal. Americans tend to be more respectful towards workers who are serving them. It is not uncommon to find various social classes socializing and knowing each other a norm which is unlikely in the Chinese culture. When it comes to matters infrastructure the two countries are far ahead. To accommodate China’s large working population China has a metro system which moves quickly and transports many. There is thus a heavy emphasis on funding thus ensuring that these transportation methods are as efficient as possible. China is among the leading emitters suitable safer modes of transports including bikes are being adopted where complete roads with lanes reserved for bikes are built to facilitate this transportation. In the U.S, however, there tend to be frequent failures of the metro system in the major cities which is not very good for the country.
Usatoday.com (2015). Differences between living in the U.S. and living in China. Retrieved 15th may 2018, from http://college.usatoday.com/2015/07/21/living-in-us-verus-china/
Vergemagazine.com (2017). Cultural differences between China and America. Retrieved 15th May 2018, from https://www.vergemagazine.com/volunteer-abroad/blogs/2091-anticipating-cultural-differences-part-1.html
Owlcation.com (2010). 10 major cultural differences between China and the United States. Retrieved 15th May 2018 from https://owlcation.com/social-sciences/10-Major-Cultural-Differences—China-and-the-United-States
Comparing two countries
Thesis- factors differentiating the United States and China vary from culture, moral values, social structure, food, business relations and infrastructure.
- Geographic and demographic factors of the two countries greatly vary whereby to the east we have China whereas to the west we have the United States.
- Though greatly populated China boasts a higher population of 1, 379,302,771 people whereas the United States have a population of 326,625,791 citizens.
A major differentiating factor can be the individualism and freedom aspect.
- Chinese culture emphasizes more on collectivism
- The American culture tends to emphasize on individualism.
- Individualism in the United States is paramount contrary to China where individualism is viewed as strange and dangerous.
- United States culture in relation to morals tends to be laid back while the Chinese society places a high value on the morals of their people.
- In the Chinese society, marriage is not encouraged until the late twenties while dating is discouraged in a young’s adult life and proprieties are expected to be held up.
- In an American family, independence is highly regarded where children are encouraged to mature and leave the house as soon as possible whereas children who stay longer than their late teen years are seen as lazy and mooching off
- Time sensitivity is another factor differentiating the two countries.
- Americans tend to be time sensitive when it comes to meetings and deadlines.
- The Chinese tend to view time more of a suggestion than an absolute.
- Feeding time in the two countries varies in relation to ingredients, mode of eating and even flavors.
- Chinese food in most settings is eaten from communal dishes whereas the American s love their food served up in individual portions.
- Chinese dishes tend to contain sliced and diced ingredients to facilitate the use of chopsticks while feeding whereas the average American his meal prepared in such a way as to facilitate the use of a fork and knife.
- A Chinese wants his meal flavoured with dried and cut whole chilli peppers while an American tends to go slow on the spices preferring manufactured chilli sauce
- The Chinese culture tends to be more classist whereby their structure tends to be more formal and hierarchical. You know where you fit in the structure and you abide by the rules there.
- Americans tend to be more respectful towards workers who are serving them. It is not uncommon to find various social classes socializing and knowing each other a norm which is unlikely in the Chinese culture.
- In matters infrastructure especially in the transport and communication sector, both countries boast of an effective system. China, however, tends to have a more funded metro system which facilitates quick movement of its vast working population.
Since both countries tend to have some cultural background which translates into how they handle things. The only way the two global giants can sincerely appreciate their differences is via learning from each other.