University of British Columbia

Project Description

Is Chinese Culture Changing Due to Foreign Exposure?

Project Abstract

China's economy and level of openness to the outside world are rapidly changing. This study will examine the level of cultural change amongst people in China most likely to experience influence from outside.
In order to measure the amount of change I propose using a well-established cultural inventory system. The Value Survey Model (VSM) was developed by Geert Hofstede in 1987 and refined in 1994. It analyses culture across 5 elements (power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance and long-term orientation). Hofstede has established scores for a variety of countries, including China. The Chinese scores were established in 1987 and should provide a good basis for comparison.
I wish to see if a certain group within Chinese society is changing: Chinese nationals who work for multinational companies. These are people who are most likely to have exposure to foreign people and ideas and could be considered as change leaders in terms of their exposure.
The study will consist of two parts:
1. The Hofstede VSM 94 survey to determine cultural value levels according to the five categories. (Permission has been given by the author for use in this study.) This study includes some demographic data that is important to determining different dynamics in Chinese society. For example, younger Chinese people have very different views of society due to their historical experiences including the fact that they do not remember such events as the cultural revolution.
2. A survey to collect data to determine the habits of the participants that would expose them to foreign cultures.
My hypothesis is that these people will show different scores on the VSM (comapring to the "base" scores from the 87 China VSM). I will look for correlations between certain habits and changes in perceptions of culture.

Surveys released for this project:
Is Chinese Culture Changing? 107
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