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Confucius In Modern China Essay

1939 words - 8 pages

Every culture is composed of many philosophical ideologies that comprise the ever-changing nature of said nation. Many cultures do not have a monolithic, nor static nature; ideas such as Maoism, Daoism, Christianity, etc., challenge the preexisting notions that are part of a culture. Even though the Chinese government has established a strong strand against Confucianism, it is still a part of the Chinese culture in socio-political, economic, familial, and individual levels. Confucianism is still prevalent though business, education, the Confucian revival, the previous ties China had with Confucianism, and a return to old traditions as a default.
Through the economic-business aspect point of view, Confucianism still holds sway over many of the actions and feelings in Chinese business, and some even say that, “it is impossible to do business in China and not feel the effects of Confucian philosophy” (Jacobs 29). For example, the sense of a social hierarchy is painfully obvious when foreign entrepreneurs do business with Chinese companies. In a business venture, “a British marketer who invited several Chinese guests to a trade promotion reception… According to Chinese tradition, the glass of wine should have been presented to the highest trade official first” (Jacobs 29). This sense of hierarchy is also integrated into several manifestations of Chinese business management, particularly in an individual level that builds up to the corporation as a whole; due to the fact that the majority of people are expected to behave according to rank, they are disinclined to present ideas that may lead to the development of the business. Jacobs also says that this explains “much of the inertia in Chinese businesses, particularly in state-owned enterprises” (Jacobs 30). Confucianism is very much so integrated into Chinese culture on a business, economic-business, and a partially individual level.
In another aspect of the Confucian influence on an individual level, Confucianism provides a suggested response to most situations, which can relate to social-political levels within a business environment. Individuals are judged in the way that they parallel their actions to these prearranged “patterns” of social relationships. Therefore, as long as the individual conforms the expectations of the group as the whole, their “face” is maintained; this whole set of motions as going through the actions is referred to as keeping face. An individual can “lose face” by not meeting the expectations of a group; the loss of face can cause serious repercussions in Confucian-influenced socio-political structures. Jacobs indicates that the maintenance of this face makes it difficult for honest communication, and it conflicts with internal situations that individuals feel (Jacobs 31). On a more international socio-political level, foreign entrepreneurs are often said to feel frustrated and experience confusion when they encounter a lack of authority from a person who has an...

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