Both culture and society are somewhat similar, but different from one another. Culture consist of people’s beliefs, their behavior, their way of perceiving things and people around them. Society on the other hand is a group of people who share the same values, customs, languages, norms, rules, tools, etc. People with same values, beliefs, and behaviors, languages, customs, etc. are often group as a societies. This assignment is an ethnographic comparison between the Chinese and the Japanese society’s standard of living.
This assignment is an ethnographic comparison of two societies, the Chinese and the Japanese. In this assignment we will evaluate each society separately according to their living style, their degree of wealth, as well as the level of comfort available to people living in society. We will also make a comparison between those societies in order to pinpoint their differences and similarities.
The Chinese Culture and Its Standard of Living
China is an extremely large country by number of people and land as well. It is located at the east side of the world’s largest continent known as Eurasia and the Western ocean known as Pacific (Argosy University, 2015). This society is one of the oldest culture and societies the world ever known. It is dated back to more than 10,000 years. It is estimated there are over 1 billion Chinese that are composed of many ethnic groups known as; Han Chinese, which is the largest group in the Chinese society, followed by Tibetans, Mongols, Manchus, Naxi, and Hezhen (Argosy University, 2015).
China also has a very rich culture where families, self-discipline, harmony, and order are very valued. According to their culture, family is the basic unit of society and individual are only one part of the family. This means, in order to be regarded with respect it is important for one to have a family and able to manage that family well (Argosy university, 2015). The blood relationship between father and son is the center of that society. In fact, it is not unusual to find up to four generation living under one roof in China. However, as things change around the world so does society, for that reason, in the modern Chinese society only it is more common to find two generation living under one roof (Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China, 2015).
Daily Life in China
The daily life in china is quite different as compare to other societies around the world. The way they dress, their food types, as well as their behaviors are exceptional. In the Chinese society, it is important to stay in harmony with nature and everything on earth, based on how one thinks and behave. Relationships between one another is very exceptional as well. They treat each other with respect and give values to one another especially the oldest. In fact, tracking back ancestors and their way of living is a common practice among Chinese (Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China, 2015).
China also has one of the fastest growing economies and one of the world’s most fascinating standard of living. According to ICP, despite being the fastest growing economy in the world the per capita between people living in China and other industrialized countries remains very deep. It is estimated, people living in China only $9,900 a year as compared to Japan where people make 36,000 a year or the U.S. whereas of last year, it is estimated people’s per capita income right around 51, 749 a year (Dan S., 2014). This means, despite being the world fastest growing economy, the Chinese living standard remains less than 30% of the living standard in Japan.
China is a society of multi religions where Christianity, Judaism, and other types of beliefs are present. However, Buddhism and Christianity are the largest religions in China. Buddhism is a religion that’s been widely and gradually accepted by the Chinese. In fact, it is estimated that more than 200 million people are Buddhism while 33 million are Christians. Buddhism was brought to china about 2,000 years ago and it is divided into three sections; the Han, the Tibetans, and Southern Buddhism.
Social issues the Chinese society is facing are: corruption; in fact, last year alone China condemned more than 182, 000 of its officials on corruption charges. Pollution is also a serious issue in China. In fact, according to research only 3 of the country 74 cities are not polluted. Human issues, China has one of most brutal reputation on cracking down on opponents and very often they have not been given fair trials. Economic issues, despite being the world’s largest economy, Chinese society has one of the world’s slowest economy and one of the worst world’s societies’ per capita (Argosy University, 2015).
Japanese Culture and Living Standard
Japan is a chain of Islands that are estimated to 3,000, situated in the east side of Asia. According to experts, the Japanese population is right around 125 million, composed of northeast Asians with others from the China coast, Southeast Asia, and Polynesia. Just like the Chinese culture, the Japanese culture is very fascinating. However, it is known as a multifaceted and an ever changing culture due to the fact that it has evolved a lot for the past years.
In fact, research shows the Japanese society has absorbed many ideas from other cultures or countries, such as; Asian and Western cultures, over its course of history. This include but not limited to technology, customs, and cultural expressions to name a few. And, with that collection they form their own unique and most fascinating culture in the world (Argosy University, 2015). However, despite the ever changing mode of the Japanese culture, it remains very attach to its old traditions that are dated back thousands of years.
Just like the Chinese culture, respect and harmony among people in Japan is very important. In fact, this is a society that is being structured everyone regardless of his/her race or country of origin as acceptable and should be respected as such (Argosy University, 2015). Those who do not function within these norms are seen as outsiders who lack legitimate status (Argosy University, 2015). Since the Japanese society is very inclusive and accept and respect everyone’s behavior, there is no doubt this is what generates so much harmony between people in Japan.
In fact, when compared harmony with other societal values and norms, such as honest, frankness, and discipline. It is evident the Japanese society values harmony between its people more than anything else. Having say that, honest, trust, frankness, etc. are still important, if functioning within the Japanese society. However, most of them are seen as values that can be only be earned through one’s continuous conformity (Argosy University, 2015).
People’s behavior in the Japanese culture are characterized by four key factors: one most follow his/her mentors’ behavior, one must avoid social embarrassment by following the contextual behavioral expectations of others, one must do activities according to his/her specified right process, and the context of behavior. This means, the status of those interacting. Self-discipline and meditation also play an important role in the Japanese society (Argosy University, 2015). This society is built on collectivism values just like the Chinese society does.
The most common religion in Japan are; the Shinto and Buddhism. Shinto religion is as old as the Japanese culture, while the Buddhism is seen as an imported religion from China and other part of Asia where Buddhism is being practiced. Due to the harmony that exist among the Japanese people, there have not been any conflict between those two religions, they both coexist quiet well. The harmony between them are exceptional and, according to experts, sometimes they complemented each other (Argosy University, 2015).
Japanese Daily Living
Japanese economy is a growing economy, which positively affects people per capita across the country. It is estimated that an individual’s per capita in Japan is as high as $36,000 a year. This is a great improvement when comparing this country’s newest per capita with its per capita of 1980s. The key success to this society standard of living is that, as the economy grow people invest more in the economy by buying more expensive items and live a more luxurious life. As a result, the economy grow, and as the economy grow, people are earning more money (Find the Data, 2015).
However, despite being one of the most stable and prosperous country, Japan has its own issues as well. Japan is a country that is dealing with many social issues for quiet sometimes. Recession is one of the Japanese biggest social problems. Since the world’s economic meltdown, it seems like the Japanese’s Economy has not been able to fully recover from the disaster. As a result, it causes people to protest on the streets for governmental reform (Find the Data and NY Times, 2015).
Crime is also another problem Japan is facing. Despite the fact that Japan is one of the safest country or society, there are serious concerns about violent and property crimes for the past years. According to the Japanese government, most of those crimes are being committed by foreigners not Japanese. Another social issue Japan is facing is the right of women. Even though in their constitution it is forbidden to discriminate against a person based on his/her gender or sex, but yet fewer women attend universities, workforce, and government offices as compare to men (Maps of World, 2015).
Standard of Living Comparison
Despite the fact these two countries have shares so many things in values, history, and traditions; China and Japan are two different countries when comparing their societies’ standard of living.
China is a lot bigger and a lot larger country as compared to Japan in population and size of the lands, people in Japan living a much better life than those in China. In fact, it is estimated that people’s per capita in Japan is as close as 30% higher than those living in China (Argosy University, 2015). Unemployment rate in China is also higher than the Japanese’s unemployment rate. According to research, more than 4% of the Chinese population are unemployed while in Japan, only 3% of its population are unemployed.
Argosy University (2015). People Defining Development. Cultural Anthropology in a Globalizing World, 3rd Edition. Data Retrieved on 05/31/2015, from: https://digitalbookshelf.argosy.edu/#/books/9781323121177/pages/241116127?return=/books/9781323121177/outline/20
Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China (2015). Fast Facts about China. Data Retrieved on 05/31/2015, from: http://losangeles.china-consulate.org/eng/culture/acc/t80661.htm
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