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Chaxugeju is a mode of association within the Chinese community whereby an individual is central to various circles of association that arise due to the individual’s social influence. An individual relates with his or her social circles, all of which possess some form of correlation. Although an individual’s circles become less insignificant as they spread away from the center, they introduce instances of one social network encountering another network that does not belong to the individual. An example of this mode of association is the case whereby people help each other because of friendship.

Dominant lineage refers to a collection of individuals who share a similar ancestry and, or political and economic interests, and possess extensive control in terms of social, economic and social aspects of a community. In this regard, other lineages within the community have minimal influence on various matters although they bear the impacts related to the actions and decisions of the most powerful lineage. An example of a dominant lineage in China is the Teng.

The term Gentry describes a group of individuals who belong to a distinctively high social class and enjoy various social, political and economic privileges. This group’s social position serves as a platform for the interaction of influential members of the society such as property owners and businesspersons.

Fengshui refers to an ancient Chinese art and science that describes the approach for balancing energy in order to achieve health and wellness, and good fortune for people. The energy in this case refers to the Taoist Chi. The term Fengshui is a combination of the words feng and shui, which mean wind and water respectively. The Chinese culture associates wind and water with the wellness of the body, mind and soul. One concept of the Fengshui is the use of the cosmic current by a specialist to help an individual to reach optimal happiness and longevity.

Describe traditional Chinese rural society. Explain its social, political and economic lives and depict the people living in this society. In your opinion, how different is Chinese rural society today?

Various aspects characterized the traditional Chinese rural society. These relate to the rural land tenure, family structure and other social aspects, economy and politics. The values for the traditional Chinese rural society emanate from the teachings of Confucianism, which places considerable emphasize on aspects relating to public administration and coexistence in the society. In this regard, social harmony is a central theme promoted through the selection of appropriate policies by administrators. These policies govern both the rulers and their subjects by directing patterns for social and political organization. Thus, the society and the state can work in harmony towards a common goal.

The greatest percentage of the Chinese rural culture comprised of peasant farmers. Unlike the gentry, this peasant population resembled groups in other societies. The gentry dominated various aspects on the local scene although the constituted an insignificant percentage of the total population. They possessed land, which the peasants rented to farm. The traditional Chinese elite acquired its status based on the grading of triennial civil service examinations. The selection of government officials considered individuals who had exemplary performances in these examinations. Matters relating to the family unit were important even among the elite. Just like the peasants, the elite engaged in partial inheritance. This practice involved equally dividing an estate among all the sons in a family unit. The issue of lineage had considerable influence on matters relating to politics and the economy.

The performance of China’s rural economy was poor. The per capita income mostly remained stagnant, and declined sometimes. This largely resulted due to biased policies on rural land tenancy, exploitative taxes and population pressure among other factors. These factors promote poor standards of living among most of the rural population. The peasants, who constituted the greatest percentage of the population, faced challenges relating to restrictive policies on landholding, which ensured that land remained under the control of a few individuals. Due to high levels of illiteracy in the rural China, leaders employed a variety of social models to promote appropriate values through socialization and the practice of rituals and ceremonies. Practices such as folk songs, arts and literature served as vehicles for transmitting cultural values.

Although Chinese leaders devoted a lot of effort to change the traditional Chinese society, most of the traditional values have remained intact. For example, the importance attached to the family as a basic unit of the society has not changed. Confucianism still influences various social, economic and political aspects of the rural population. However, reforms relating to the rural land tenure and changing content of education have improved the distribution of rural resources and promoted productivity within the rural areas. In addition, increased access to education has helped to enlighten the rural population and give them control over their lives. Matters relating to ancestry are still a powerful force within China.

Interpersonal relationship involves both material and nonmaterial aspects in both Chinese and Western societies. Do you think there are differences between the Chinese guanxi and the Western interpersonal relationship?

Interpersonal relationship involves both material and non-material aspects in both Chinese and Western societies. However, there are differences between the Chinese guanxi and the Western concept of interpersonal relationship. The guanxi defines varied approaches concerning the treatment of relational objectives. It incorporates several aspects of Confucianism to guide interpersonal relationships. This introduces differences when compared to interpersonal communication within the Western society, which uses three main theories to analyze interpersonal relationships. These are the transaction, social exchange and interaction theory. While the Westerners’ view of reciprocity emphasizes on the need to maintain equal benefits between parties, guanxi describes reciprocity as unequal and detainable. In this regard, depending on the intensity of the guanxi, an individual will respond to a favor with a bigger favor. Even in the case whereby someone is not able to repay a favor immediately, he or she remains obliged to repay the favor in future with a bigger favor. Another difference relates to the aspect of differentiation. Guanxi promotes differentiated treatment of people depending on the relationship between them. Treating people according to their relationships increases the guanxi between parties in question. Compared to the Westerners’ approach to interpersonal communication, guanxi is more likely to introduce a scenario in which the sorting and treatment of individuals vary depending on their relationships.

The difference between guanxi and the Western concept of personality introduces variations in interpersonal relationships. The principle of guanxi considers an individual as an element that seeks to maintain satisfactory relationships with individuals within a matrix. On the other hand, Westerners consider an individual as at the center of the universe. In this regard, guanix emphasizes on the sensitivity to the existence of other people rather than focusing on individual goals which is the Westerners’ view concerning interpersonal relationship. Another aspect of guanxi that creates differences with the Western view of interpersonal communication is the concept of the self as a portion of the family unit and other social groups. The Western idea of the self largely depends on an individual’s choice and achievements, and does not incorporate social groups. In this regard, the Western approach of interpersonal relationship promotes flexible interactions unlike the case of guanxi, which creates discomfort among individuals interacting outside their network. Guanxi concepts describe interpersonal communication as a hierarchy starting from the personal level to the family, and eventually incorporating the whole society. On the other hand, in the Western societies, interpersonal relationships depend on individual identities.

 

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