We or I? : collectivism-individualism in Chinese and American values




Zhuang, Xi.

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According to both previous research and common belief, Chinese values represent a more collectivist orientation while American values demonstrate a more individualistic orientation. This study attempts to find out whether this assumption is stiII accurate in recent times, given the profound social changes that have taken place in China. Drawing data fkom the World Values Survey (1 995- 1997), this study examines four aspects of collectivist and individualistic orientations in China and America: socialization, work, social relationships, and motivation. While confirming some of my hypotheses and contradicting others, the findings suggest that there are significant indications of value changes in China. Specifically, there is a strong indication of a more individualistic orientation in Chinese values regarding socialization and social relationships than in comparable American values. Furthermore, this study provides some informed conjecture about and explanation of the findings concerning the four aspects of values I examine, as well as suggestions for subsequent research.