Encountering the Chinese: A Modern Country, an Ancient Culture

Encountering the Chinese: A Modern Country, an Ancient Culture

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Overview

"A classic must-read for everyone coming to work or live in China." - Shelley Warner and Tony Voutas, cross-cultural trainers and founders of Asia Pacific Access Ltd, China

China is in the midst of unprecedented economic and cultural growth. In the last decade alone, China joined the World Trade Organization, hosted the 2008 Olympics and experienced a remarkable, record-high increase in its foreign currency reserves. As these changes unfold, frequency of contact between the Chinese and Westerners is dramatically increasing in the office, the classroom and the home.

With thought-provoking glimpses into history and tradition, Encountering the Chinese provides fundamental information on Chinese cultural norms and values, giving clear context for contemporary social standards. Readers will learn the etiquette necessary to build successful personal and professional relationships with the Chinese both inside and outside the People's Republic of China.

This revised edition of Encountering the Chinese also explains how Chinese values are changing rapidly-and why it is more important than ever to keep up. For instance, compliments, once declined out of modesty, are now widely accepted in coastal cities; and some terms of address that were proper to use only a decade ago have grown offensive. Encountering the Chinese provides invaluable insight into the diverse and changing Chinese culture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780984247196
Publisher: Quercus
Publication date: 12/15/2010
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Hu Wenzhong, Ph.D., of the Beijing Foreign Studies University, is also president of the China Association for Intercultural Communication and Fellow of the International Academy for Intercultural Research.

Cornelius Grove, Ph.D., is the founder of Grovewell LLC, providing leadership development, executive coaching, team performance, and strategic consulting services to individuals and businesses in the international marketplace. He has authored numerous books and articles, including co-authoring Randomia Balloon Factory, the cultural diversity training game. Visit his website at www.Grovewell.com.

Enping Zhuang is a professor of Intercultural Business and Managerial Communication from MBA center of Shanghai University with over 30 years of teaching experience and 20 years of intercultural consulting and training experiences for international organizations, local governments and businesses. He has expertise in diagnosing cultural issues and making cultural synergy for global mergers and acquisitions.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Foreword xiii

Preface to the Third Edition xvii

Introduction: A Brief Background to the Chinese Way of Life xxi

Part I Advice for Westerners Interacting with the Chinese 1

1 Chinese Titles and Forms of Address 3

Chinese Naming Practices 3

An Overview of Chinese Forms of Address 4

Chinese Forms of Address Westerners Should Use 5

Other Forms of Address Used in the PRC 9

2 Greetings, Conversations, and Farewells 13

Greetings among the Chinese 13

Conversational Openers 18

Conversational Restrictions 19

Farewells among the Chinese 22

Notes 24

3 Chinese-Style Dining 25

The Significance of Dining 25

The Chinese Way of Dining 26

4 Appointments, Visiting, and Time Use 31

Time-Use Patterns in Official Chinese Contexts 31

Time-Use Patterns in Nonofficial Chinese Contexts 32

Receiving Social Visits from Chinese Friends 35

A Word about Hosting Chinese Visitors in the United States 37

Notes 38

5 Chinese Modesty and Humility 39

Chinese "Disparagement" of Themselves and Their Families 39

Other Behavioral Features of Chinese Humility 41

The Origin and Nature of Chinese Humility 44

Notes 46

6 Making Friends with the Chinese 47

Levels of Personal Relationships among the Chinese 47

Chinese-Style Relationships and Their Pitfalls for Westerners 49

Some Cautionary Advice about Romance 58

Notes 61

7 Education and Training among the Chinese 63

Teaching and Training the Chinese Today 63

Student Life and Relationships in the PRC 68

The Special Role of Chinese Teachers 71

The Traditions of Western and Chinese Education 73

Notes 75

Additional Readings on Educational Practices among the Chinese 75

8 Negotiating and Institutional Decision Making 79

Decision Making in Chinese Institutions 79

The Cultural Bases of Western and Chinese Decision Making 82

Five Differences Between Chinese and Western Negotiating Practices 86

A Note about Western Women Working in China 93

Notes 94

Additional Readings on Commercial Practices among the Chinese 95

9 The Concept of "Face" in Chinese-Western Interaction 99

A General Explanation of the Concept of Face 99

Contrasts between Chinese and Western Concepts of Face 103

Recognizing Common Face-Saving Behaviors of the Chinese 106

Protecting Your Own Face (and That of Others) When among the Chinese 109

Dealing with a Face-Loss Situation You Have Caused 110

Notes 111

Part II Advice for Westerners Living and Working in the PRC 113

Living As a Foreign Guest in the People's Republic 113

Obtaining Personal Assistance 118

Changing Attitudes to Dress and Self-Decoration 120

Coping with Time-Use Differences 121

A Few Suggestions about Queuing 123

Accepting, Refusing, and Giving Invitations 124

Lending and Borrowing 125

Gift Giving among the Chinese 126

Being Entertained at a Meal 132

Hosting a Banquet or Other Meal 134

Problems of Foreign Teachers at Chinese Universities 138

Interacting with Administrators and Other Faculty 139

A Note about Audience Behavior Outside of Classroom 142

Interacting with Domestic Employees 143

Social Aspects of Traveling 148

Making Use of the Internet 152

Preparing for Your Final Return to the West 153

Keeping in Touch after Your Return 155

The Intercultural Context of Encountering the Chinese 156

What Are Intercultural Services? 157

For Additional Reading 163

Notes 164

Appendix A Glossary of Chinese Terms 165

Appendix B Chinese Titles and Forms of Address 171

Recommended Readings 173

Index 179

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