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A study on the differences between Western friendship and Chinese friendship


A study on the differences between Western friendship and Chinese friendship
Abstract
People are social animals and can not be divorced from social groups. Keeping in the community with people has become an important part of life in this big group. With the development of Reform and Open Door and economic globalization, China has been increasingly frequent communicating with Western countries; especially with the United States that is to reach a new stage. With growing number of Chinese students in America, and the 2008 Olympic Games held in China which made relations between Chinese and American a priority. In this situation, the friendship between our two peoples with different customs of different cultures has also been tested. What’s the difference in friendship between Chinese and American? Why there are so many puzzled for the Chinese students in the friendship of the Americans. In this paper, two kinds of self-organization composed of individual element: the independent and interdependent self-constitutive element to talk about the differences between self point of view of collectivism in the center of Chinese society and the individual-centered society of friendship view of American society.

Key words: friendship, difference, collectivism, individualism
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Introduction
The differences between China and the U.S. view of friendship
Social culture in China and the United States is not the same. Collectivist culture of Chinese society is playing a leading role in the society, and society is the individual culture of the United States play a decisive role in the community. People as an individual in society have two different components of self constitutive element: independent and interdependent constitutive element of self. In the individual's culture, independent element of self structure stands the leading role. While in the collective culture, interdependent constitutive element of self makes the leading role. To the people who put the emphasis on independent self-configuration element, the important task is the pursuit of uniqueness. On the other hand,

self-structure with interdependent elements are usually regarded as the self-integrated part of social relations. The emphasis on interdependent self-constitutive element of the people, its important task is to integrate themselves into groups, appropriate behavior, and promotion to the achievement of group goals, speaking politely and offering insight into other people's thought. China is a typical collectivist society and the United States is a typical individualistic society, which also led to the friendship between our two peoples
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and friends of the different definition of the concept and the resulting difference to be friendly methods.

1. The friendship and friends in the eyes of Chinese and American
Friendship and friends in the eyes of Chinese, although Chinese more gentle humility, but in their heart for the definition of friend and friendship is quite clear. It is a very serious for friends and friendship. Chinese people own the friendship with like-minded friends who share the similar interests, similar personalities, otherwise they can not be real friends and they can only be regarded as ordinary. Friends and friendship in the eyes of Americans is quite different from the Chinese people. In the American dictionary, the definition of friends is very widely. In the OXFORD friend are: 1.person you like 2. supporter 3. not enemy 4.silly or annoying person. The people to meet by chance like patches of drifting duckweed can be friends. Thus, for the friendship, the Americans more open to more casual compared with Chinese. (Xianyan Lou, 2005:12).

2. The differences between the way of Chinese and Americans to be friendly and to maintain friendships
Chinese people treat a friend always not at the first time they come across. Time is often the best way to test friendship and friends. For the Chinese, to touch each other
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for a long period of time, the communicate to a certain depth, to find out each other's habits and temper and eventually finding out that they share the similar interests and the common experience of "suffering", then they will make the recognition of each other as a friend in the heart, and will value this friendship. Once friendship established, it will be the lifelong, and not easily changed. As the Chinese interdependent self-organization in the social environment played a leading role, once established friendship, friends should take care of and keep in touch with each other. Because of this interdependent, there formed a very special friendship between the Chinese-style communications. Friendship between the Chinese people to maintain requires constant interaction, and this interaction is to keep the sect, engaged in small talk, chat and even in a few hours. And for Chinese people, chatting between friends does not need an appointment. Because it is "can not helping", and so long as friends, anytime, anywhere is the first welcome. But these are often very difficult to understand the habits and that way to Americans. For friends and friendship, the Chinese people want stability and American is seeking cross-development. Americans are more casual friends. Often at the first meeting they can be friends. So the Americans’ friendship is coming quickly but also is disappearing
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quickly. As the individual in society leading role in the independent self-organization, Americans tend to be more independent, stress free, and change very much. Americans put change as a part of life; Americans think it is quite important for progress and change. ”(Samovar et a1. 1998: 64).But Chinese people believe that true friendship should stand up the test, regardless of what changes occurred in life(Pei Zhang, 2003: So for Americans, meeting new 7). friends, meeting strangers, getting new friendship are well worth doing. But Chinese people prefer to communicate with old friends, for strangers and a new friendship they tend to think twice before making carefully considered action. However, although the style of American exchanges is easy-going, this does not mean that you can effortlessly build friendships with them. Americans are beginning to establish friendly relations with strangers; the inner line of defense is very low. But when initial development of such friendly relations to establish, the inner wall will continue to rise. Americans think a lot of the "privacy" and "independence.” The process of establishing friendship between the Chinese people is on the contrary. Psychology is the first line of defense is very high, so when they are often more cautious when meeting strangers. However, many contacts with each other and to trust, the Chinese people will confide

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to each other, the inner line of defense at this time gradually decreased (Wu2005:115-116).

3. Friendship between China and the United States, the expected return for different values
Because of the different definitions of friendship and friends, there is a different way to treat a friend. And the different ways to treat a friend there lead to a friendship between Chinese and Americans in the expected return for different values. For the friends, what the Chinese people want is the ability to provide timely help, and the friends who are able to go through anything. So the Chinese people for friends and friendship to the relatively high expected return value. And as to Americans, but for the substantial help of friends not many so the expected return for the value of friendship is relatively low. Chinese people will help each other, and help each other in the economy, even if it is needed to do to help a friend out of a long mission environment (Bei Zhang, Zheng Park 2003:8). Americans have little practical help to friends, so for them the situation to rely on each other, is beyond imagination. And like other Westerners, Americans believe that friends are "in the emotionally support each other," "spend time" people. Americans have little support in terms of money and help friends, even family, between parents and children need help once the money is needed, they may
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make the IOU. But in China, it is only right and proper thing for parents to give their children financial help.

Conclusion
Because of the differences among the definition of friendship, the way in the treatment of friendship, the friendship in the processing and maintenance of attitudes, the expected return on the value of friendship between Chinese and American, the differences have led to further exchanges between the two countries and exchange of people, or even a problem. Although this problem has affected by all aspects of the factors, but ultimately constitutive element or due to independent and interdependent self-constitutive element of self are the main reason. Therefore, the people of China and the United States and other countries in order to better to make friends, promote cultural exchanges, we must understand each other different cultural practices and social habits. This makes cross-cultural exchange between China and the U.S. for further success, and can make more friends from different countries.

References
1.Sarnovm, A. al. L. et 1998. Communication between cultures(3rd ad) Beijing:Foreign language teaching and research press

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2.Wu,A.2005.American friendship.New Oriental English: General.29. 3.胡超跨文化交际.B 时代的范式与能力构建,北京,中国社会 科学出版杜.2005. 4.楼鲜艳.中关友谊观比较.新疆石油教育学院学报。2005(5). 5.张蓓,郑文源.跨文化意识英语教程.北京:清华大学出版社, 2003. 6. http://zhidao.baidu.com/question/98677004.html 7.http://all.zcom.com/mag2/shehuikexue/wenkejiaoti/31173/200701/ 15643616/

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