Kevin O'Connell: Some cultural differences
Yesterday in class we talked about cultural differences between the US and China. The topic I found most interesting was how Chinese people and Americans use and interpret language differently. Americans are very direct in their language. We tell people our opinion when asked for it and we think in a “me, me, me” manner. Chinese people area collectivistic society. They think “we” first. When you ask a Chinese person for their opinion they tend to beat around the bush. Dr. Li said that Chinese people used to get frustrated with Americans because we told them exactly how we felt and they would read too much into it. Also, we learned that Chinese people have in-groups and out-groups. When people are in their out-group, they expect people to say please and thank you. However, if you are in somebody’s in-group, they get embarrassed when you say please and thank you for ordinary things like opening a door for somebody. This is very different from American culture where we throw out a please or a thank you every chance we get it seems like.