论中美家庭价值取向的差异——电影《推手》个案研究

来源: www.sblunwen.com 作者:lgg 发布时间:2015-11-04 11:28 论文字数:39658字
论文编号: sb2015103011023914760 论文地区:中国 论文语言:English 论文类型:硕士毕业论文 论文价格: 150
The study tries to find out the cultural roots thatunderpins the differences and clashes between family members, and propose atentative solution to the dilemma.

Chapter One: Introduction


1.1 Research Background
Differences between Chinese and American cultures have always been thesignificant aspect of intercultural communication research, among which familyculture occupies a special position. Along with the on-going development of newmedia and intercultural communication, a growing number of opportunities have beenprovided to observe and experience the lifestyle in foreign countries. Nevertheless,faced with the differences of family values and behaviors, people frequently feelconfused as well as encounter barriers, which quite often results in intercultural biasand conflicts. Hence to explore the cultural discrepancies, family differences, andidentify their social roots, plays an immeasurable role in solving intercultural conflicts,promoting family harmony, and facilitating intercultural communication.According to Lustig and Koester (1999), “intercultural communication occurswhen large and important cultural differences create dissimilar interpretations andexpectations about how to communicate competently.”(Lustig and Koester, 59). Thisterm "intercultural", points out the presence of at least two individuals or two groupswho are culturally different from each other on such important attributions, as theirvalue orientations, preferred communication codes, role expectations, and perceivedrules of social relationships. American scholar William Thayer writes, “As are family,so is society” (Samovar and Porter, 116). His words clearly expressed the importanceof family to both the individual and the cultural. The importance of family is alsoclearly highlighted by the famous anthropologist Margaret Mead.
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1.2 Purpose and Significance of the Study
Based on Geert Hofstede's cultural value dimension theory, the present thesistries to analyze and explain the differences in family value orientations the Chineseand the American reflected in Pushing Hands. From the in-depth and comprehensiveanalysis of the family value differences in those intercultural families reflected in thefilms, we can trace the cultural roots that lead to different attitudes in conflictsmanagement. We all know that there exist tremendous differences between China and theUnited States, including geographic location, natural environment, economic strength,political system, population size, etc. Among which the cultural differences of the twocountries are obvious. These differences are typically reflected in their respectivefamily conceptions. For family is the most basic unit of a society, and that familysystem and tradition are influenced by the one's cultural tradition, thus in the familysetting, when the Chinese culture meets the American culture, and the east meets thewest, and intercultural conflicts will occur inevitably and frequently. So thedifferences in family value orientations become the source of intercultural clashes.How to deal with these differences and harmonize, the conflicts or clashes occur inthis setting really intrigues my research interests.
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Chapter Two: Literature Review


2.1 The Key Concepts
In speaking of definition of “culture”,it is really hard to find the most accurateone from the hundreds of definitions of this complex term. Williams (1983) stated that“it is one of the two or three most complicated words in the English language.” Inhistory, “culture” stems from the Latin word “colere”, meaning “planting”, and“taking care of”. Hence, we regard "culture" as something coming from or made byhuman beings - “culture” is cultivated. Many scholars have tried to give a properdefinition for culture and presented various kinds of conceptions for culture formdifferent perspectives, so this brings the continuing confusion of trying to bringtogether under the word "culture" as historical products.Culture marks the most important difference between human beings and wildanimals. The idea that culture is something created by human beings through theirconscious or unconscious efforts, which allows us to learn and transmit knowledgefrom generations to generations. Like the computer we use, we are programmed, justlike computer software, by our culture to do what we do and to be what we are. “It isthe culture that provides the software. As with any good software, we are onlyvaguely aware of it as we use it. It fades into the background and we just know thatwe can be, that the computer works, or perhaps sometimes does not work because it isincompatible with some else’s software.” (Hofstede, 2005)
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2.2 Theoretical Framework of the Study
This thesis aims to analyze the differences in family value orientations betweenChinese and American cultures. And the theoretical framework of the study mainlydraws from Hofstede’s cultural value orientation theory, which is widely applied inintercultural communication researches.Value orientation is the concept used to study the relationship between culturalvalues and communication behaviors. Kluchhohe and Strodtbeck believe that culturalvalue orientation refers to the principles upon which people depend within a certainculture to arrange daily life, and the means that they use to solve their universalproblems. They reason out the aspects that there is a limited number of commonhuman problems for which all peoples must at all times find some solution, whilethere is variability in solutions of all the problems, it’s neither limitless nor randombut is definitely variable within a range of possible solutions. All alternatives of allsolutions are presented in all societies at all times but are differentially preferred.(Kluchhohe, 1951) Therefore, a series of value orientations influenced by differentcultures are chosen. In the process of socialization and cultural evolution valuedoesn’t change but orientations shift. In words, they conceptualize cultural valueorientation as complex but definitely patterned principle that gives order and directionto the ever-flowing stream of human acts and thoughts. (Ting-Toomey, 1998)
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Chapter Three: The Intercultural Analysis of Family ..... 28
3.1 Overview of Pushing Hands and Ang Lee ....... 28
3.2 The Analysis of Family Value Orientation in pushing hands ...... 31
Chapter Four: Conclusion ...... 58
4.1 Summary of the Thesis ....... 58
4.2 Limitations of the Thesis..... 59
4.3 Some Suggestion for Further Research .......... 59


Chapter Three: The Intercultural Analysis of FamilyValue Orientation in Pushing Hands


3.1 Overview of Pushing Hands and Ang Lee
From 1980s on, more and more Chinese directors and their films have beenattracting close attention, and making their appearances in the film circles around theworld. With their unique styles of narrating and techniques of expression, to illustratetheir Chinese identities to the world, especially to the Western world, they win theWesterners recognition to the ancient Eastern country and her civilization. Moreimportantly, they are eager to seek out their own cultural identities in the exhibition oftheir home culture. In the context of frequent cultural collision and conflicts, theseChinese directors, using their sensitive visual lens, try to find the ways by which theoriental culture can go out of cultural crisis and have an equal dialogue with theWestern culture. Ang Lee, the important representative, is one of them who made suchan effort. His films, an integration of ideological content with artistry, narration, andelegant sights, have gained the appreciation and favor of the Western audience. In hisfilms, the collisions and conflicts between Chinese and American cultures havealways been balanced in a subtle and fantastic way. In the meantime, as a main guiderof Taiwan New Wave film, he combines the plain narration of new wave films and thedramatic change skillfully which makes his films exhibit a kind of quietly elegant andgentle oriental characteristics. His early works, The Family Trilogy, also called FatherTrilogy, consisting of Pushing Hand, The Wedding Banquet, and Eat Drink ManWoman, is of this style.
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Conclusion


Based on the analysis of the differences of family concept in Pushing Handswith Hofstede’s four cultural value dimensions, we can make the followingconclusion: Chinese and Americans have dissimilar family structures, socialrelationships, senses of status and diverse experiences of education. These differencescan be attributed to dissimilar cultural value orientations. In the first place, whileAmericans who embrace individualism tend to prioritize self-fulfillment, Chinese whoembrace collectivism tend to emphasize group interest and interpersonal harmony.The diversity of cultural value orientations leads to the major differences in Chineseand American family conceptions and communication behaviors. Secondly, China andUS also differ in power distance, and the immediate result is that Chinese familymembers are more likely accept power asymmetry but Americans are more likely askfor equality. Thirdly, in the Chinese masculine culture gender roles are clearly distinctin family - father is concerned with the financial issue and social communication, andmother is to take care of children and other family affairs. In the American femininesociety, the difference in gender roles is not distinguished so markedly. Fourthly,China belongs to high uncertainty avoidance culture and America low uncertaintyavoidance culture. Thus it is not easy for Chinese who take stability as the top priorityto accept the unfamiliar and differences. In contrast, Americans who encourage risktaking and innovation are more willing to accept differences and ready to have change.These evidences in Pushing Hands verify the rationality of Hofstede’s culturaldimensions theory.
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References (omitted)


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