Confucian In Their Own Way – Part III – An Image to Consider


File:Inglehart Values Map.svg

This comes from Wikipedia, and you can find it here.  It is based on the World’ Values Survey (WVS) which you can find here.

The World Values Survey is biased in showing values its authors care about. The authors are Swedish.  It is not a total measure. It is insightful and draws out where the Confucian countries are compared to Sweden and how close they are to each other and us. That it seems to say that Japan has no traditional values and a lot of self expression is odd, but other points it makes are clarifying.

Swedish people do not talk about personal things with anyone. Their private lives are their own. Japanese people are the same. These are great places to chat without going deep.

Chinese people are more likely to give up their idea and feel the sacrifice of it than the Japanese.  The Chinese are more individual  and less part of the Japanese consensus. In Japan the children are accustomed to having no room to move, and so feel nothing unsual.  Chinese children also cannot move but can feel the desire to.

On average, Chinese people are deeper and more connected to their emotions and deep conversations than Swedish or Japanese. Sweden sees China as being more into survival thinking, and sees the Americans are more engaged on moral issues.

When compared to America, the Confucian countries have little moral compass on their scale.  All us Westerners might feel that way. It is more accurate to say that their moral compasses emphasize different values. If a Chinese sociologist made a chart like this,we would be off of China’s moral grid.

According to this measure, countries at the extreme top or extreme right are doing well. America and Northern Europe are about ME, very individualistic. Japan and Sweden are very rational and unemotional on the top scale.

China is near the top scale but is moving toward Taiwan and not Japan.  All the developing and developed countries are being pushed toward the top right whether they like it or not.  Taiwan and China will likely  move together while moving toward the top right.

I am surprised to see Vietnam, a Confucian country, so far from the other Confucian countries and so close to America. Final insight from me is that all the countries on the top right are democracies and look at where the Arab spring countries are.  Think which democraices are doing well.

Any comments?

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Posted in: China, Chinese Culture

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