China's Culture Stereotype

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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It seems that Americans go the full range in knowledge, anywhere from downright stupid answers to admitting that they don't know anything about the subject to being decently well informed, but the most noticeable factor is that most of the information is taken from the portrayal that the mass media offers us of China. The Asians we interviewed can be split up in two categories: the ones who spent a considerable amount of time in China and who are well aware of the culture and lifestyle and those who are almost second generation and who have a very limited knowledge. We have posed ten Americans and five Asians eleven questions in order to examine their knowledge of China.

The Americans although mainly lacking specific knowledge of the Chinese legal system thought of it as being complicated and usually harsh. This image is mainly derived from mass media since most of the Asians think that the legal system is reasonable because it allows for reform rather than retribution and because a lot of the basic rights do apply.

Besides the Americans who think China is a monarchist state and thus cannot have government oppression, most said that the Chinese government is oppressive and mean. The Asians, however, said that the Chinese government is overly vilified and that in fact oppression is only half as bad as it is said to be. The Americans knew very little about the Chinese military, if anything at all, and mainly described it as big and powerful; this may be a result of the recent wave of Sino-phobia in politics. The Asians simply said that it is unpleasant and most people don't want to be in it. Basically in education most everybody agrees that it is more efficient than the American system. However there are those...