USC
University of Southern California
Forum Recent Topics Recent Posts Search USCI K-12
Messages in this topic - RSS

Home » 2016 Summer Seminar » Yan - Globalization and Individuals in China (Wed)

Movement in East Asia
pages: 1 2 3 |
7/27/2016 3:16:13 PM

cgonzalez
cgonzalez
Posts: 59
Subject: Dr. Yan becoming I
What I understood from his presentation the more the individualized the individual the more the individual has to work to keep up with his needs. Which at times leads to overworking.
permalink
7/27/2016 3:40:26 PM

yreynoso
yreynoso
Posts: 23
Subject:
Professor Yan talked about individualization in Chinese society. He explained that based on this principle, individuals who recognize this as a selfless conduct that must address the loyalty to his/her family. In terms of social responsibility, people in China must devote their lives to help others at the same time that they work hard to fulfill their family and their needs. It was also mentioned that in a traditional China individuals are driven by incentives, and if given the opportunity, the more they work, the the stronger the incentives. These is very empowering for individuals who try to provide a better life for their loved ones.
This is a great topic for discussion in class with high school students who in the US, since this generation has been enjoying of the western social and economic bonanza without really fighting for anything. I really would like to have a discussion with students about the four ropes of traditional Chinese society (political, religious, kinship, and gender power). They should be able to collaborate with partners in finding key points within the traditional Chinese society and the traditional societies in the western hemisphere. They should be able to learn about the socio-cultural privileges we currently enjoy as society vs. the traditional Chinese society.
permalink
7/27/2016 4:30:02 PM

gtyau
gtyau
Posts: 20
Subject: Yan - Individualization
Professor Yan's talk on Globalization and the Individual in China was so helpful and illuminating. What I appreciated most was learning more about some of the misconceptions (I held) about communism, socialism and capitalism as distinctly different ideologies. There's clearly so much "gray area" that it's easier to see how a capitalist market economy can function in a communist governed society. There is indeed room for individuality in China as long as it doesn't ruffle the feathers of the powers that be. It will be interesting to see in 50 years where we (in the U.S.) are compared to PRC; I would bet we will be even more similar culturally than dissimilar, which is both exciting and sad.

There is a lot of material to use to spark discussion and debate with my students in a very simple compare and contrast model. However there is also a lot of room to explore individual topics in further depth as mini-research units. I want to learn more about China's place in the greater Pacific Rim. I do have more questions about why China hasn't really accomplished what South Korea seems to have accomplished lately in terms of cultural spread; is it because they don't have to???
permalink
7/27/2016 4:36:19 PM

gtyau
gtyau
Posts: 20
Subject: Chinese heritage
I was also fascinated by the idea of "ancestors" and what it meant to be a "person" in China. It really made me think about my own upbringing and what my Chinese grandfather did for my father's generation and also for mine. The way my generation of cousins have been set up for success in our society by my grandfather's generation, in concert with today's lecture and readings, have really given me pause to reflect on whether I'm doing enough for not my own children but my future grandchildren. Admittedly, I was NOT raised to keep future generations in mind, but rather focus on being in the moment more (and being the best person I can be). It's sad that so much of my "culture" is lost on my generation. I'm half Chinese and half Japanese, in my late 30s. I wonder how many people like me feel the same about their own generation and cultural heritage?
permalink
7/27/2016 6:31:46 PM

hlien
hlien
Posts: 20
Subject:
I find that the reversal of the hierarchy pyramid from ancestor centered to grandchild and the possible implications for the future extremely intriguing, especially when it's complicated by the age of social media. I was also surprise of the findings that "the little emperor" generation in not as self-centered as one may have expected.
permalink
7/27/2016 7:39:32 PM

EunjeeKang
EunjeeKang
Posts: 21
Subject: The millennials
Chinese millennials, have attracted global attention because of their uniqueness. I have personally been interested in the XiaoHuangdi generation because most my Chinese friends fall under the category and I have heard about them so many times. What I have been told about them was pretty much 'the self-centered, unpredictable, and selfish generation'. I do not think I need to repeat what Pf. Yan said, but the last question that I wish I asked is "how will these millennials deal with the rest of the 21st century?". What the China experts think about their future and China which will be run by these young people for next few decades?
permalink
7/27/2016 7:42:18 PM

juanae
juanae
Posts: 57
Subject:
Professor's Yan presentation on the Chinese individual was really interesting I was a little shocked that traditional Chinese culture did not considered a 1 year old a human being, even after beginning to speak, they have to be presented to their ancestors, given a name. Someone doesn't become a human being until they have fulfilled all obligations and roles. I have a hard time accepting this way of thinking about a human being.
permalink
7/27/2016 9:09:31 PM

skroop
skroop
Posts: 96
Subject: Individualism
The presentation by Yunxiang Yan on Individualism in China was new to me as I am more likely to think of Western society when considering individualism. In teaching AP European History one of the important aspects of the course themes includes “Individualism and Prosperity.” Following this lecture, I think there are some very clear contrasts between the “individual” of Western society in comparison to the individual of traditional China. Even in comparing Maoist China 1949-1976, I think I personally picture the “individual” in relation to society and their obligation to others in society. One particular phrase shared by Mr. Yan that stood out to me was looking at the “The Chinese Individual as a process of becoming (rather than as a structure of being) and the central notion of making oneself a person.”


This is very different from an Americanized view of believing that we were born with a particular set of rights. The traditional Chinese views of abortion and marriage are also affected by the views of the individual. The idea that abortion is not viewed the same way as it is in other countries as a result of the fetus or newborn not being a “full person.” That everything is earned and there is no right to privilege. Also in that marriage, having a child, and having your child have a child, all are aspects that make someone more “full” as a person. On the other hand, if your child does not marry, when they should, it is viewed as a failure on the parent.


Question:
I know that much of this concept of the individual changed during the Maoist Era, but how much of these traditional views on marriage and abortion still exist to some extent today?
permalink
7/27/2016 9:14:08 PM

hdao
hdao
Posts: 28
Subject: Food Safety
@skroop, after years of hearing my mother and sister complaining about food safety in Vietnam and China, I wasn't at all surprised with the paper written by Dr. Yan, in fact, I've seen the video of the shrimp injection before and was as disgusted as you were...there's a rice vermicelli that's called "bun" that is used in a lot of Vietnamese dishes. I can't digest bun anymore, it just solidifies in my stomach. My mom says that a chemical, probably formaldehyde, is used as a whitener and preservative. It's a shame because I love Vietnamese food, but now I have to be cautious about everything I eat from Vietnam and China.
permalink
7/27/2016 9:22:46 PM

hdao
hdao
Posts: 28
Subject: little emperors
@hlien, how self-centered to you think the "little emperors" of the youngest generation will grow to be? Ever wondered what became of the children of the helicopter parents? You guessed it, they're the Millennials...seriously, parents have to take some of the heat for how their kids turn out.
permalink
7/27/2016 9:45:13 PM

hdao
hdao
Posts: 28
Subject: Dr. Yan
Dr. Yan is an incredibly sharp and incisive thinker and I found his paper on the food safety crisis in China academically imposing but otherwise well written and timely. His ideas on kinship and the Chinese family structure is intriguing to say the least. Coming from a Confucian society, Vietnam, I sometimes saw very similar attitudes in my parents, and to a lesser degree with my older siblings. It would have been fascinating to go deeper into the subject by looking at some examples of how these general attitudes are manifested in the ways individuals are treated based on their status in society, i.e. teacher, pupil, father, son, married or bachelor, etc..
edited by hdao on 7/27/2016
permalink
7/27/2016 10:56:18 PM

hdao
hdao
Posts: 28
Subject: @gtyau
yeah, I feel the same way. Nice reflection...thanks for sharing.
permalink
7/28/2016 6:04:29 AM

mmadruga
mmadruga
Posts: 23
Subject:
Wow! Professor Yan is an amazing "individual". If you "desire" the current social situation in China, Dr. Yan is the man. Being just 12 hours removed from Bejing his lecture was impressive, and knowledge and experience is difficult to match. I really enjoyed this man.
permalink
7/28/2016 6:30:03 AM

mmadruga
mmadruga
Posts: 23
Subject: Food industry
The video on the shrimp injections was enlightening and disgusting. In the future is going to be difficult for me to order and eat (shrimp) at some of my favorite spots. Vietnamese food is very tasty and i thought healthy?
permalink
7/28/2016 9:12:24 AM

jschilp
jschilp
Posts: 24
Subject: Life at the Crossroads
I was not surprised by the gay men who hide their sexuality to appease family but I do feel for them. They are stuck at such an incredibly harsh crossroads in which they must grapple with personal identity and desire versus heritage & the need to provide grandchildren on a daily basis. Once again, I feel so fortunate to be who I am, where I am, when I am.
permalink
7/28/2016 10:27:42 PM

nminassian
nminassian
Posts: 23
Subject: Finding Mr. Right
I loved this movie. Directed by Xue Xiaolu in 2013, this romantic comedy was very entertaining, cute, and at the same time introduces some key points a foreigner may experience in US. Jiajia was a mistress of a wealthy Beijing tycoon. Because she couldn't have baby in China, due to her relationship with a married man, she ended up in Seattle to give birth. At the beginning of the movie Jiajia was a spoiled "princess". She was rude, materialistic, and egocentric person, who thought that a credit card could do anything. However, she meets with a wonderful person, Frank, who cares deeply about her and her baby when she was alone and "penny less". They fall in love, but Jiajia returns to her rich boyfriend, probably thinking that it would provide a better future for her baby. After a while she realized that she can't find her happiness in loneliness, and leaves her boyfriend. At the end of the film Frank and Jiajia get reunited, but now she is a hard working, caring person. I will recommend my students to watch this move because it has a strong message that the material wealth is nothing compared to love, care, and trust.
permalink
8/3/2016 3:21:07 PM

njimenez
njimenez
Posts: 58
Subject: Response to Globalization & Individuals in China
Hearing the lecture on Wednesday help reinforce some of my knowledge of China. I however did not know that a person was not considered to be a full person until they fulfill certain mandatory requirements. How a person could not think of themselves as a person but as part of a linear line of ancestors and descendants. The term “I” was not used but rather “we” or “us” was more common in older generations. After the migration of Chinese people, they began to embraced individuality. Now it has shift back to small family unity. Chinese feel so much pressure to succeed which is not surprisingly the death mortality is higher there. I also did not know that average life expectancy for Chinese is shorter by 20 years when compared to the world because of being overworked. The lecture was very informative and helped me understand why the Chinese people have so much money and still feel so much pressure by their grandparents and or parents. Having this information has helped me understand the family dynamics a lot better which hopefully will make me a better teacher for my students.
permalink
8/4/2016 2:11:29 PM

nramon
nramon
Posts: 90
Subject: The Individual and Individualization in Contemporary Chinese Society
  • It was great to hear Professor Yan lecture on the evolving concept of individuality in China because it helped me gain a deeper understanding of a lot of the communal practices in Chinese culture. One of the most obvious examples I can think of is family style dining. In my experiences eating in China, sharing food items makes for social situations that help people communicate and interact with one another. This style of dining and frame of thinking reminds a lot about Latin American culture and practices in that the family is largely involved in a lot of things that would be done individually in countries like the US. In thinking about how I can make links between Chinese culture and my students who come from Latin American backgrounds, I would probably start a discussion about how they assert individuality in their homes and/or with their families. I can imagine that individuality is probably something that is ingrained in them in school where they learn a lot about American culture and practices.

edited by nramon on 8/4/2016
permalink
8/4/2016 2:24:51 PM

nramon
nramon
Posts: 90
Subject: Response to CGonzalez on Chinese Path to Individualization
  • I also thought is was very interesting that the introduction of communism allowed for individuals to separate themselves from their ancestors and rely more on the communist party. In many ways, it seems that China retained its communal practices in that the Communist Party forged a very different form of unity as seen in the communes and in the way communities were made to work with on another for the development of China under Mao. It thinking of China today, it is clear that China is developing and changing at a rapid pace, but at the same time, I wonder if in some ways it is also attempting to reconnect with its past. In my travels through China, it seems that there is an effort to conserve and recollect a lot of the cultural items that were lost during the Cultural Revolution. I wonder if the same is happening within the context of social practices.

edited by nramon on 8/4/2016
permalink
8/4/2016 2:31:19 PM

nramon
nramon
Posts: 90
Subject: Response to NJimenez
  • I was also intrigued by the idea of not being considered an individual until you have fulfilled a number of responsibilities/reached certain milestones. This reminds me a lot about how being a woman is defined in Latin American cultures and on some level, even in American cultures. There is always the idea that a woman is not entirely fulfilled until she is married and has children because it is simply not enough to be unmarried and single. With the growing cost of living, being single and childless seems to be a growing trend in China and it seems that even today, Chinese society continues to play with the idea that an individual is not full until certain milestones are reached.

edited by nramon on 8/4/2016
permalink

Home » 2016 Summer Seminar » Yan - Globalization and Individuals in China (Wed)





Powered by Forum 6.9.4.0 © 2006-2011 USC US-China Institute