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

Movement in East Asia
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8/4/2016 10:11:16 PM

ysun
ysun
Posts: 21
Subject: Globalization and individuals
I am so appreciate to have this opportunity to learn the change of China from Professor Yan. Both my parents were moved from China to Taiwan after WWII. I remembered, when I was a kid they can’t write letter to their families who still in China. There are so many things I learn about China were from school, some of them were true and some were exaggerated.
My first experience to know Chinese from China was 1983 when I take my graduated study in University of San Francisco. Compared to Taiwanese students there were just a few Chinese from China. Those days, all Taiwanese call ourselves Chinese, so in the school our “ Chinese student Club” was including those students from China. I really experienced that they were different from us(Chinese from Taiwan), they more keep distance from us and study harder than us. Their English also worse than us, but they really more focused on learning and most of them plan to go back to China after the higher education. Those Chinese friends were so different with the Chinese students I met in these 10 years.
I only know the changes is because the Chinese have more changes to connect to western cultures, but never know the relationship changes modern china coming from when and what.
Leaning from Dr. Yan, I have more understanding how these 30 years change happened, when was the influence happened. How china society changed from strong Mao’s era to now. As a Chinese, I really appreciate to learn about this.
If my students like to put their interesting about China, I can help them to do a better research from Dr. Yan’s articals.
edited by ysun on 8/4/2016
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8/4/2016 10:22:12 PM

ysun
ysun
Posts: 21
Subject: globallization vs individuals
When professor Yan said, in the old days they always said “we” or “our” not “I” or “my”. All the sudden, I understand what it was. Those experiences I had in 30 years ago, those days I first met people from my parents’ home town. I kind of find the puzzle in to my old memory.
The people I met from China in the present days, they are different from my old friends. Because there society has changed even their political leaders are different now.
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8/6/2016 2:59:37 PM

Clay Dube
Clay Dube
Administrator
Posts: 1920
Subject: migration/rural collectives
Responding to Robert -
The rural collective is largely dead. In some places, collectives still oversee some economic production, but beginning in the late 1970s, land has been assigned to households and most rural enterprises have been contracted to private managers. A lot has been written on this, but let me recommend three books:

the Potters, 1990, China's Peasants: The Anthropology of a Revolution http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/anthropology/social-and-cultural-anthropology/chinas-peasants-anthropology-revolution

Friedman, Seldon, et al, 1993, Chinese Village, Socialist State http://yalebooks.co.uk/display.asp?k=9780300054286

-- 2007, Revolution, Resistance, and Reform in Village China http://yalebooks.co.uk/display.asp?K=9780300125955

Agriculture in the richer eastern part of China is generally done by older people and women caring for children. And in many villages near cities, it is now done by companies from poorer areas which use farmers from those areas. Most older people are still cared for at home, but nursing homes are increasing in China. When I lived in rural China in 1990-92, these were mainly caring for a handful of elderly women whose children had moved away or who did not have children. But now, so many people have migrated that this is becoming a significant industry.
edited by Clay Dube on 8/6/2016
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8/6/2016 3:07:04 PM

Clay Dube
Clay Dube
Administrator
Posts: 1920
Subject: marriage in china
Cindy raises great points. The pressure on all people, but especially women to get married within the "use by" date, is large. Partly parents push it because their own friends and family make a bigger deal out of it over time. But people in China and in America are getting married later and some elect to never pair up. Some elders complain that millennials are too picky or that this shows their immaturity. Others recognize that with rising divorce rates in China and high divorce rates in the US, perhaps pushing folks into early marriage isn't such a good idea.
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8/6/2016 3:08:51 PM

Clay Dube
Clay Dube
Administrator
Posts: 1920
Subject: millennial minds
Eunjee asks to know more about millennials -- we have videos on this: http://china.usc.edu/video-millennialminds
Please watch and let us know what you think.
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8/11/2016 5:19:44 PM

juanae
juanae
Posts: 57
Subject:
This is very similar to what occurs in Mexico. In some areas, women take their husband's last names and in some they do not. I'm not sure why that is the case. Personally, most of my Mexican female relatives choose not to change their last names. I guess, this similarities between THailand, China, and Mexico exists in other places as well.
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8/17/2016 9:38:31 PM

jmallard
jmallard
Posts: 22
Subject: Food Safety
Food safety seems to not only be a China issue, but a global one. I believe since China is heavily populated it seems to be more prevalent there. However, the main issue is the cutting of costs for businesses. These cutting cost methods come at a cost of consumers health and safety. The article states that even though this has been a known problem it seems as if there still has yet to be a solution or even an attempt to find a solution. The case of the Sanlu milk is heartbreaking. So many children were affected and that outbreak alone should've caused major concern amongst the government and food regulations. The social inequalities seem to always be in existence even in a Communist country. The fact that the wealthy have less concern over the toxic foods since they have better access to cleaner and safer foods is a huge moral problem in my opinion. I hope the elite will have the heart to speak up and demand that the government implement better food policies and regulations for all.
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8/17/2016 10:05:17 PM

jmallard
jmallard
Posts: 22
Subject: Descending Familism
Descending Familism was interesting. The shift seems as though younger parents are increasingly involved in the well being of their child. Making drastic lifestyle changes to benefit the educational goals of their child seemed to be a focal point for the younger generation. The older generation is also apart of this process in helping their children increase the well - being of their grandchildren. I believe this same thought process is evident in the United States amongst the Asian cultures. Moving to different areas to help their child be in a preferred school district seems to be very common. I think it is honorable to make such sacrifices for the family. This is awesome.
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8/24/2016 2:26:02 PM

rbrady
rbrady
Posts: 39
Subject: Descending Familism
The discussed new dynamics of family agreed are seen in both Asian and western cultures at this time albeit there are some differences. These changing dynamics are interesting topics to discuss with children and adolescents as well. The idea of moving to a specific area for good public schools is something that became paramount for many American families during the 1970s during an era of forced school busing. The areas that presented the most passive resistance were most probably the Los Angeles and Boston areas. Many of the families of middle class families at this time were first, second and third generation immigrant families that were more or less assimilated. The world war two experience probably increased this assimilation. With forced federal government racial integration many middle class families found themselves with their children on long bus rides going to schools in under achieving neighborhoods. The wealthy simply either continued with or began to enroll their children in good private schools. The middle class was having to choose to either "go with the program" that could potentially provide for an inadequate education for their children or move to areas that refused federal funding and integration. These areas around Boston and Los Angeles (Arcadia, San Marino, Palos Verdes, Beverly Hills, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach) found local ways of supplementing the lost federal mandate funds and continued to operate good solid academic programs. A whole generation benefited from moving to these areas. As immigrant communities came into the LA basin they picked up on this trend and likewise realized that a good solid education was available at little to no cost if the family could make some sacrifice and strive to live in a more affluent community that could promise quality free public education.
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8/24/2016 2:31:23 PM

rbrady
rbrady
Posts: 39
Subject: Yan - Globalization and Individuals in China
Interesting in that people are introduced with their professional titles. I wonder it there are protocols for generic western style introductions like MS. and MR. in certain social situations. For example, lets say there is a mens soccer team where ones profession has little interest and it would almost be awkward to have these titles connected to an individuals name. I wonder if they are still used if it would perhaps make it awkward for everyone to be associated with and reminded of social classes and professional classes in such an environment. It does allow for less social integration. Could be a good pro and con conversation with students.
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8/24/2016 2:35:52 PM

rbrady
rbrady
Posts: 39
Subject: Chinese Path To Individualization
When this concept is presented to individuals and it is perceived as a new and novel concept it reminds one that we do not exist in isolation. We are a product of our past in some ways and we are responsible for those that come after us. It does make one more responsible and less connected to a "Das Ich" ego that seems to permeate so much of western culture today and perhaps this is happening in China today as well as individuals strive for their own agendas. Another good conversation for students. Stifling or Liberating????
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8/24/2016 2:40:25 PM

rbrady
rbrady
Posts: 39
Subject: Article Food Safety
This seems to be a growing problem with Chinese exports. Remember the scandal last year with the toxic laminate that was coming from China. Many women in China will not use creams or cosmetics made in China due to quality control issues. A new a strong market in developing in China with women for western made beauty creams and products that are considered natural and subject to high standard quality control. As a segment of Chinese women develop monetary wealth they are demanding more quality control.
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8/24/2016 2:52:51 PM

rbrady
rbrady
Posts: 39
Subject: Professor Yan
This talk also got me thinking about some deep issues that could be very interesting for students to ponder. I was told once by some Chinese in Hong Kong that they felt that they had a stronger sense of the right of a human because of their British experience and were hoping to change mainland thinking on this from within, When you mention the more conservative thinking of your Latino students I remember Pope John Paul II writing about why he is fighting so strongly against abortion and why he continues to work as Pope and not resign even as his body is failing him. He said basically that the unborn are the most vulnerable of humanity and if you make them seem less human they then can become expendable. This starts the descent down a slippery slope. Next are the elderly because they too can be inconvenient and therefore less human and so it continues on and on. He wanted to show that he could still run such a large organization of humanity with a failing body and serve as an example and reminder that he was indeed still human. Great opportunity for deep student discussions and self awareness. Would have loved to have been on the wall of a conversation between a Jesuit and his Chinese hosts.
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8/29/2016 10:05:16 PM

victoriachan
victoriachan
Posts: 27
Subject: Filial piety in China
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-35994366
I came across this video about women in China who are shengnu, or “left-over” women. It’s saddening to see these women suffer and lose their sense of self-worth all because they aren’t married. Some of them are “left-over” because they are highly educated, and men typically don’t want to marry a woman who is more educated that they are. I can see how not being married becomes a burden on these women because it is a societal expectation for children to marry and to have kids to fulfill this sense of filial piety. This is one aspect that I wish would change in Chinese society so that these unmarried women wouldn’t have to feel such shame, and I hope the viral advertisement sparks the beginning of this change.
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8/29/2016 11:45:09 PM

victoriachan
victoriachan
Posts: 27
Subject: @kluna
kluna had posted: I had never learned about these traditional Chinese ideas of becoming. According to Professor Yan, individuals are defined by their social relations and their fulfillment of social expectations. I have also never heard anyone Chinese discuss abortion, but it is rational that under these beliefs, a fetus would not be considered a human. I would really like to pose the question to my students to have them consider what makes a human “self?” Generally speaking, a fetus is considered a human by American standards (the debate usually comes in the developmental stage of the fetus). But it is interesting to consider if any actions should play into becoming a human and leaving your mark on earth. My students are mostly Latino, which makes them more conservative and pro-life, but I would like to hear their thoughts on the need to fulfill social duties.
It made me wonder about the abortion rate in China, and I found this article:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/9933468/336-million-abortions-under-Chinas-one-child-policy.html
According to this article, there have been 336 million abortions because of China’s one-child policy. That’s about the same as the population in the U.S., which to me is astronomically high. I understand why this is necessary, and it completely makes sense considering that not curbing the population growth in some way would be detrimental not only to China but also the world as it would further climate change. It’s just a hard figure to wrap my head around. It appears that China is in need of a sex education program of some sort to prevent this, but I also wonder how many of those abortions were due to forced abortions when families wanted to try for a son after exceeding the limit of children.


Personally, my family has experienced life under the one-child policy. When I was younger, one of my aunts, who had recently immigrated to the U.S. at the time, spoke candidly about having her tubes tied right after giving birth to her son. She said, “I was already at the hospital so the doctor just did it because it was more convenient.” From her tone, it was just everyday life of a mother in China. I imagine this is very different from what my students are used to hearing about since most of them are Latino or Black.
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8/31/2016 3:03:42 PM

ndaza
ndaza
Posts: 20
Subject: Peidu
Professor Yan mentioned in his lecture about Peidu: to accompany one's child or spouse who is studying overseas. Well, my family got to experience it first hand a few days ago. My daughter's college roommate happens to be a chinese national from the province of Gansu. In trying to coordinate the living arrangements, we found out that the mom and brother are moving to the United States as well to accompany Jia while she studies here. Very interesting.
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8/31/2016 5:52:48 PM

mcervantes
mcervantes
Posts: 23
Subject: How to use with students
Students that we interact in school and in our classes must be taught how others in the world have to contend with in their everyday lives. We discuss the lives of students in Asia and how different they are compared to the United States. We can use the internet and studies to help our students understand Asia. We need to bring the global community to our students.
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9/1/2016 11:55:15 PM

victoriachan
victoriachan
Posts: 27
Subject: @gtyau
I felt the same way when I was listening to Professor Yan’s lecture. It’s hard to maintain a culture when you don’t live in it.

I would imagine a lot of our students feel the same way; many of my students are Latino, and their relationship to their families and culture varies. Some of them speak Spanish and feel connected to their culture, and others are embarrassed about their abilities to speak Spanish, but they don’t necessarily feel disconnected. I wonder if part of that connection is due to the fact that some of them visit often because they have family over there while going to China is not as easy since tickets are expensive.
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9/1/2016 11:56:26 PM

victoriachan
victoriachan
Posts: 27
Subject: Chinese individualization
Professor Yan’s lecture about Chinese individualization highlighted the key to understanding Chinese culture for me. The idea that to be fully human and not be a failure was to beget great-grandchildren. Professor Yan also elaborated on the communal aspects of Chinese society.

I think this philosophy would be a good way to think about school culture. At my school, we are moving towards this idea that students help students so that no one fails. It’s similar to what is expected in Chinese society, where people are expected to contribute to the family and the overall nation. But ultimately, the idea is that we would all build each other up, and I think that it's important for people to feel connected.
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