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文章来源:www.dj-on-line.com   发布者:学生毕业作品网站   发布时间:2015-08-23 14:28:34   阅读:12614

Abstract

Nowadays, with the in-deep communication between Chinese and Americans culture, more and more Chinese people chose chasing American television series as an entertainment, such as The Desperate Housewives, Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries and so on, which demonstrate the family values of Americans in many aspects which are different from that of Chinese. Also, further study and travel aboard give an impetuous to the development of American culture in China. Due to the differences of geographical and historical background, religion, and belief, Chinese and Americans have their own family values which often cause misunderstandings. This paper has recorded valuable data using the newly developed method of contrastive analysis, which can bridge over the communication gap. As a result, people will acknowledge the existence of the different family values, gradually get familiar with them, admit them and then melt them finally.
This thesis consists of five parts: Introduction part aims to present the social and cultural backgrounds and gives a brief situation of study about Chinese and American family values recently. Chapter one mainly offers definitions of family and family values. Chapter two compares the differences of family values between Chinese and American from main three aspects: the first aspect put a premium on the family core sprits, Chinese collectivism and American individualism, which are the instrumental factor causing the differences; the second aspect focuses on analyzing the difference of marriage between Chinese and American ,including purposes, couple position and attitude toward marriage; the third aspect tries to compare the differences of parent-child relationship. Chapter three mainly presents the reasons that cause the differences of family values between Chinese and American, including geography, history and brief. Then conclusion in Chapter four, which tells the contents briefly, put forward how to correct concepts about family values. From the work involving, this article aims at showing some differences between Chinese and Americans family values, promoting people’s understanding under the context of globalization. Thus, it is of great significance to remove misunderstanding in cross-cultural communication.
Key words: family values; core sprites; marriage; parent-child relationship
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


摘要

当今,随着中美文化的深一步交流,越来越多的中国民众把追美剧作为一种乐趣,例如《失望主妇》、《绯闻女孩》、《吸血鬼日记》等一系列反映美国家庭观的电视剧。剧中,美国人和中国人的家庭观在很多方面存在差异。另外,出国留学和旅游也刺激了中美文化的碰撞交流。由于地理、历史背景、宗教信仰的不同,中美家庭价值观各有不同,以致产生误解。本论文通过对比分析的方法,在中美不同的家庭价值观之间架起一座沟通之桥,使人们了解不同之处,逐步熟悉、接受他们,最后慢慢交融贯通。
本论文主要包括五个部分:介绍部分旨在出现当前社会和文化背景,以及对中美家庭观差异研究的现状,使人们对对这一主题有大概了解。第一章主要解释家庭和家庭观的含义。第二章从三方面详细对比中美家庭观的差异:第一是家庭核心精神,中国的集体主义和美国的个人主义,这也是导致中美家庭观差异的主要因素;其次是婚姻,主要从结婚目的、夫妻关系和婚姻态度三方面进行比较;最后是父母子女相处之道的对比。第三章列举导致中美家庭观差异的几个复要因素:地理,历史和信仰。第四章是结论部分,简述研究内容,提出如何树立正确的家庭价值观。本论旨在比较分析中美家庭观的差异,帮助人们在跨文化环境下对其进一步了解,避免交际过程中产生失误,意义复大。
关键词:家庭观;家庭核心精神;婚姻;父母子女相处之道

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contents
Introduction 5
Ⅰ.Definitions of family and family values 7
1.1 definition of family 7
1.2 definition of family values 8
Ⅱ.Differences between Chinese and American family values 9
2.1 concepts of family core sprits 9
2.1.1 Chinese concept of family core sprits—collectivism 9
2.1.2 American concept of family core sprits—individualism 10
2.2 concept of marriage 11
2.2.1Chinese concept of marriage 11
2.2.2American concept of marriage 12
2.3 concept of parent-child relationship 14
2.3.1 Chinese concept of parent-child relationship 14
2.3.2 American concept of parent-child relationship 15
Ⅲ. Reasons for the differences between Chinese and Americans family values 16
3.1 geography 16
3.2 history 17
3.1 belief 18
Ⅳ. Conclusion 19
Bibliography 20

 

 

 


Introduction
Progress in communication and transport technology during the 20th century has enabled us to overcome geographical boundaries and revolutionize our way of living. Globalization creates conditions for widening international exchanges, strengthening mutual understanding between nations, expanding cultural, educational, and scientific cooperation between nations and countries, enjoying the cultural achievements of people around the world which encourages the process of modernization and the enrichment of national culture. Nowadays we Chinese are sharing the same Hollywood movie as the American, enjoying the same fashionable clothes as the young girls in Paris and even chasing after the same brands as the people all over the world. Specially, as the two super countries in the world, China and American take more communications in culture, economy and so on. With the in-deep communication between Chinese and Americans culture, more and more Chinese people chose chasing American television series as an entertainment, such as The Desperate Housewives, Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries and so on, which demonstrate the family values of Americans in many aspects which are different from that of Chinese. Also, further study and travel aboard give an impetuous to the development of American culture in China. 
Marx and Engels mentioned in The Germany ideology, “only in the community, can individual obtain the method to achieve full scale development, that is to say, only in the university may have personal freedom.” Compared with the community, such as country and clan, the family is not only the fundamental community as the basic of cell, but also the closest community to people’s life and production. Family is an important part in our society that we live in, enjoy love form family members. Not only is it a warm harbor to give us a shelter opening all the time, but also it is a lighthouses that guides and influences us. In a word, family is the most fundamental unit of all human society. Moreover, family is the source of one's values because it is within the family that one learns the very things that will shape you throughout life. Surrounded by the influence of the people closest to you, from your very first sense of awareness of the world around you, you automatically learn and absorb what is important to your family, and this forms the values by which you will live. Whether this includes values of honesty, generosity, hospitality or, on the other hand, negative values, it is your family that shapes and develops what you will believe What’s more, family value is the core of the value system, which has decisive influence on people’s behavior and mind. What you think, how you act, even your language are all influenced by the family value from the wider cultural context. That is to say, the value of society relies on the family value in a large degree, as it reflects the ethical values of society, cultural characters and the unique features of a nation. “We know that the most basic relationship in a family is marital relationship, kinship, affinity, and it also includes the affection and economic relationship generated from those basic relationships, so education, religion, faith and family financial burden-sharing are all included in the family values.”
    However, due to the differences of geographical and historical background, religion, and belief, Chinese and Americans have their own family values which often cause misunderstandings. So if we want to get a glimpse of the cultures of two different countries, it is necessary to know their different family values. For filling the gap, lots of studies has been set to present the differences of family values between Chinese and American, analysis the reasons and provide objective suggestions, such as Wang Yujuan, Han Yanling, Xie Lijun and others. This paper has recorded valuable data using the newly developed method of contrastive analysis, paying attention on the differences of family values including the core sprits, marriage and parent-child relationship, which can bridge over the communication gap. As a result, people will acknowledge the existence of the different family values, gradually get familiar with them, admit them and then melt them finally.
  
Ⅰ.Definitions of family and family values
1.1definition of family
Marx and Engels mentioned in The Germany ideology, “only in the community, can individual obtain the method to achieve full scale development, that is to say, only in the university may have personal freedom.” Compared with the community, such as country and clan, the family is not only the fundamental community as the basic of cell, but also the closest community to people’s life and production. The development of family plays a vital role in the personal development. George Peter Murdock once said, “The family is a social group characterized by common residence, economic co-operation and reproduction. It includes adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship, and one or more children, own or adopted, of the usually co-habiting adults.” As to Wong, he thought that “a basic unit of kinship composed of two or more members who are united by ties of blood, marriage or adoption, and who live together constituting a single housed.” In addition, Karpel and Strauss summarized different concepts of the family: (1) the functional family; (2) the legal family; (3) the family as seen by its members; (4) the family of long-term commitments; (5) the biological family.
Family may seem like a simple concept, but there is no simple definition of family. In its most basic terms, a family is a group of individuals who share a legal or genetic bond, but for many people, family means much more, and even the simple idea of genetic bonds can be more complicated than it seems. A society is made up of individuals, but it is not just a large collection of people living in one area of the world. People must learn how to communicate and cooperate with others if they live together. That is true family take on the job of teaching generation how to live grow up and survive in society. That lead to the society is base on the family. Generally speaking, family is the cell of society, as a group of people who live together by blood, marriage or adoption, playing the most fundamental part that reflects the ethical values of a society, its cultural characteristics and the unique features of a nation.
In ancient society, the family is the basic unit of production. However, in modern society, family takes a much more important role in distribution, consumption and property inheritance given that different culture create different family. To understand the historical development of Chinese and American family will undoubtedly help those who are in cross-cultural communication. 
1.2 definition of family values
Family values are political and social beliefs that hold the nuclear family to be the essential ethical and moral unit of a society, and they are considered as an important part of a country’s traditional cultural values. What’s more, family value is the core of the value system, which has decisive influence on people’s behavior and mind. What you think, how you act, even your language are all influenced by the family value from the wider cultural context. That is to say, the value of society relies on the family value in a large degree, as it reflects the ethical values of society, cultural characters and the unique features of a nation. “We know that the most basic relationship in a family is marital relationship, kinship, affinity, and it also includes the affection and economic relationship generated from those basic relationships, so education, religion, faith and family financial burden-sharing are all included in the family values.”
Family Values became a popular and political term in the late twentieth century. While it has entailed subjective meanings, it can be described as a set of beliefs or morals that help provide for family unity and social interaction as well as providing for a societal view for childhood development. These beliefs have encompassed such topics as the roles of marriage, divorce, childbearing, gender roles, and sexual activity and have shaped not only the family's interaction with society, but also legislative policy.
“Every human group needs not only to adjust to the natural world but also decide and order relationships among members of the group,” because of the influence of cultural context, the relationship among members in China and America are completely different, that Chinese advocate collectivism and American individualism.

Ⅱ.Differences between Chinese and American family values
2.1 concepts of family core sprits
2.1.1 Chinese concept of family core sprits—collectivism
Collectivism is any philosophic, political, religious, economic, or social outlook that emphasizes the interdependence of every human being. Collectivism is a basic cultural element that exists as the reverse of individualism in human nature (in the same way high context culture exists as the reverse of low context culture), and in some cases stresses the priority of group goals over individual goals and the importance of cohesion within social groups (such as an "in-group", in what specific context it is defined). Collectivists usually focus on community, society, or nation. It is used and has been used as an element in many different and diverse types of government and political, economic and educational philosophies throughout history and all human societies in practice contain elements of both individualism and collectivism. Traditional Chinese society has been regarded as a typical collectivistic society, people in this society value their in-groups (e.g. relatives,clans,and organizations),inter harmony. Filial Piety,humbleness,thrift,adapt ability,moderation and non-competitiveness .Chinese families focus more on authority, harmony of family, filial piety, and their obligations to the family.
“If we were to describe in one word the Chinese way of life for the last two thousand years,the word would be--Confucian.” Perhaps, there is no other nation in the world loving their families more than Chinese. Since China is a country whose agriculture has dominated the economy for thousands of years. Families generally maintain self-supporting family farms or businesses for more than one generation. In the past, the Chinese used to and were willing to stay together with the family. Settling down a place, and then they live there, bear there, eventually die there; it appeared to be an endless circle of the Chinese life. They knew well their place they called home. A home for a Chinese, not merely is a house built with cement and wood, but also a world belonging to them only. A traditional Chinese family generally consists of at least two generations of people. When a Chinese wants to do something, he will firstly take others’ viewpoint into consideration. This results in Chinese face saving and doing something not in accordance with one’s social status is considered losing the face. It is the habit of people not to offend others even at a cost of telling a lie. As professor Yang Guoshu said, “traditional Chinese paid attention to neither the accordance of behavior and thought nor the order of them, but the ability to play to the score”(Yang,1989:218) However, along with social progress and epochal change, small size, simple structure and diversified patterns of families have become the main features of modern Chinese families.
2.1.2 American concept of family core sprits—individualism
Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the moral worth the individual. Individualists promote the exercise of one’s goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance and advocate that interests of the individual should achieve precedence over the state or a social group, while opposing external interference upon one’s own interests by society or institutions. American family members pay great attention to the concepts of individual equality, independence, individual right and family happiness, among which the most prominent concepts are independence and equality.
Western culture takes the object as the dominant factor, based on nature, so they neglect people. Most of the Americans are busy with work, and they have the high pace every day, so they don’t know each other very well and they are lack of opportunity to meet each other. Therefore, it formed their individual character. The proverb” God helps those who help themselves” calls attention to the strong belief in America that people should show individual initiatives. In the United States, people are encouraged to” speak up” and make sure their individual views are heard. “Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” also manifests the belief in individual initiative. The proverb “A man’s home is his castle” tells us about the value of privacy.
From Benjamin Franklin(―God helps those who help themselves)to Herbert Hoover(―the American system was based on rugged individualism),individualism has gone through different transformations and be come the predominant pattern in America . Americans prefer something unconventional or unorthodox, enjoying life and free development, which not only include the pursuit for material profits but also for individual freedom and self-realization. Lin Yutang once talked about American individualism orientation,“…they never worry about something passively, but try their best to stride forward; they never wait for others’ help , but help themselves; they never wait for chances but create chances.” He also said, “…You should remember one thing that if your success is subject to others, you will be destined to fail…” (Lin, 1990:37).It is because Americans advocate individualism and freedom in expressing ideas, doing things, displaying abilities, and attaining goals. And that’s the reason why Americans lay so much emphasis on something external, individual, powerful and why they are aggressive and love competition.
2.2 concept of marriage
2.2.1Chinese concept of marriage
For most Chinese couples, marriage is an even vital issue, whose start and end put a large impact on both husband and wife. Not only is it something about a single one, but also it is pertinent to more factors such as morality, responsibility and honor. Under the influence of collectivism, they put a large premium on the interests of whole family, not on the individual interests, to set a harmonious and happy family which needs each member to be modest, tolerant and patient.
In traditional family, people emphasis the ancestry concepts that means both of the family have the same fame or privilege in society, as the sayings: 竹门对竹门,木门对木门;穷来莫配富亲,矮来莫爬高墩;天上的月亮要不得,富人的姑娘讨不得。Although with the development of society and culture, people treat choosing spouse much more open, however, people’s minds are still influenced by the traditional marriage values rooted in the sprits. 
    In the past or at present, there is always a condition before Chinese people to get married which the man should have the ability to support the whole family and the woman who is going to be his wife. It is not just because he loved this woman. Therefore, in China there goes the popular saying that “Get married and start one’s career.‟ And Chinese men basically would not like to marry a woman who is more capable than him, because they insist that happy marriage or perfect match should be a man with higher social status and earned more money and a woman who is both inferior in social status and finance. If not, the man would have a sense of failure and loss. Once Chinese women have the babies, they still need to work to support the family. 
In traditional China, people cherish family very much, no matter men or women, paying more attention on the stable of marriage. Then, good morality and loyal criterion become the footstone to maintain the stability of marriage, specially the women—women should be of kindness, austerity, tolerance, and loyalty to the husband. With the development of society and exchange of culture, people’s value toward marriage also changed in some minor parts, such as the more optimistic attitude to the divorce, love affair, and so on. But the basic idea still has not changed, given that a nation to endure the world, not only have to adapt to the trend of time and the ability of coexistence with other ethnic group, the more important is to stick their own culture fundament to keep own social characteristics.
2.2.2American concept of marriage
America is a young country established by immigrants from many areas and nations, so various cultural and social environments make many American accept such life creed: every man for himself fund God for us all. They think marriage is the combination of two individuals, as long as men and women both reach the legal age, no one has the right to interfere. In addition, marriage is a serious issue for them, they have to swear before God to have and to hold from the day they get married forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do them part.
    As for purpose, the Americans regard getting married just a right not a responsibility, mainly for themselves, and think highly of love as its basis. Without love, marriage is impossible. As an American proverb describing relationship of love and marriage goes: “Love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage”. They have their own criterion on choosing another spouse, no need of other’s introduce. It just ok when they think both of them are good no matter in personal character or sex regardless of the family, educational background and religion faith. If the couple do not love each other anymore, it is normal for them to be apart and to find their happiness again. 
     From their perspective, marriage is loyalty, a serious contract. And it must be fair to both men and women. If you decide that you will spend the rest of your life with someone, you should not have an affair with someone else, otherwise it is unfair. It is the most unacceptable and unforgivable thing for them in the marriage. As for the job,   American women think they are independent whether they have jobs or not or even better to their husband. Once American women have children, most of them would like to quit their jobs and become housewives. After their children start to go to school, some of them would go back to work. But it doesn’t matter whether American women have jobs or not. Their husbands will make sure that they have the ability to support the whole family before they decide to have a baby.   
American marriage mainly for themselves, and they regard it a right not a responsibility. They think marriage is the combination of two individuals, as long as men and women both reach the legal age, no one has the right to interfere. So if the couple do not love each other anymore, it is normal for them to be apart and to find their happiness again. But once women know their husband betrayed them, it is going to be a disaster for men given the reason that they consider cleaning the house and taking care of the children as the part of the job. More women than men ask for divorces in America, which is completely opposite to that in China more men want to divorce with their wives. After divorce, most of them would choose to raise their children alone.
2.3 concept of parent-child relationship
2.3.1 Chinese concept of parent-child relationship
In China, the long patriarchal and traditional ethics, just like the car axis, firmly link the relationship between parents and children, to keep harmony and stable, which give parents the absolute authority to children and children the filial piety to parents.
A new book called Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua has caused a debate about cultural differences in parenting. Ms. Chua is a professor at the Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut, and the mother of two daughters. She was raised in the American Midwest by immigrant Chinese parents. In the Chinese culture, the tiger represents strength and power. In her book, Ms. Chua writes about how she demanded excellence from her daughters. For example, she threatened to burn her daughter's stuffed animals unless she played a piece of music perfectly. She would insult her daughters if they failed to meet her expectations.
We cannot deny that the most typical traditional relationship, that is, parents are parents, children are children. Parents have the absolute authority to discipline their children, and children should always follow parents’ advice, has played an important role in our society. There are a lot of examples about traditional Chinese families. In China, parents always dote on the only child; they do a lot for their children, even when they grow up to adults. It seems that parents have a high expectation of children. To achieve their expectation, parents will push their children hard and force them to do something against their willing. Once children make a small mistake, they will discipline them hardly. In a world, Children love their parents; meanwhile, they respect them, even afraid of them. The idea that instilled from childhood is that children can do nothing but study hard in return for parents. Of course, children like buying some small gifts on special days, like mother’s day and birthday of their parents.
Nowadays, there is a trend that variety types of relationships develop between parents and children in China. They act more likely peer and friends and think it is the best way to communicate and build a more intimate relationship, and it works. However, we cannot deny that the most typical traditional relationship still plays an important role in our society. After all, the typical traditional relationship has rooted in Chinese heart and marked the excellent Chinese traditions such as filial piety. 
2.3.2 American concept of parent-child relationship
Compared with the Chinese traditional parent-child relationship, love and friendship tie the family in America. Parents respect their children’s freedom and independence, and act roles as friends rather than gods. In addition, children are allowed to develop themselves by own willingness.
Even the American President –Obama, busy with daily affairs, also spares a large amount of time to chat with children and share their happiness and sorrows. In one of his letters to his daughters, he said “I want all our children to go to schools and develop their potential. I want us to push the boundaries of discovery so that you’ll live to see new technologies and inventions that improve our lives and make our planer cleaner and safer” He also showed his expectation of them, “I hope both of you will take up that work, righting the wrongs that you see and working to give others the chances you’ve had.’ In a word, American parents understand more how to make friends with children than Chinese.
For most American parents, the goal of foster children is to make preparations for children’s independent and self-reliant future when they are at the age of 18, the time of arrange their own life. In America, parents and children call each other’s name directly, which is unacceptable in the view of Chinese parents. Parents do whatever they can to guide their children in a most polite and civilized way. They don’t offer their help if their children don’t ask for. They say that they respect their children’s self-esteem. Both of the parents and the children have their own circle of activity. No one will disturb another. They respect each other’s privacy and feel good and are satisfied with their fraternity.
Generally speaking, American parents just treat the born of children as a course of history or physiological event. When children are young, parents should do their duty. But when children grow up enough, the age of independence, the close link between parents and children will be not stronger than before, even loose, which causes the indifferent attitude to the family members. What’s worse, the free relationship usually causes many conflicts between parents and children.

Ⅲ. Reasons for the differences between Chinese and Americans family values
3.1 geography
With 9.6 million square kilometers of land area, China is located on the eastern part of the Eurasian continent, the largest continent in the world, on the west coast of the Pacific Ocean which is the world’s largest ocean. As for the climate, it is influenced by strong monsoons that caused a northwestern wind in winter and a southeastern wind in summer, so we have four seasons, that four distinct seasons. Looking form the geographical position that, especially in the ancient time, China was a mainland country with board plains and suitable climate, the maritime power was limited in the time, resulting in based on agriculture production mode. This kind of mode was introversive, mainly affected by weather, earth and especially the cooperation of people, forming the long historical feudal society characterized with collectivism which is still deep-rooted in our resent Chinese society. In addition, as we all know, the Chinese geographical environment is closed given that the outside of east coastline without near continent and large island, therefore, it is hardly goes to sea. West and Eurasian areas is almost cut by mountains the Pamir’s and Tibet plateau which is called the roof of the world. What’s more, there are vast territory and abundant natural resources enough to develop with no reason to go out in the old time, which created Chinese introverted personality.
In contrast, with 9.3 million square kilometers of land area, America lies in central North America with Canada to its north, Mexico and Gulf of Mexico to its south, the Atlantic Ocean to its east and the Pacific Ocean to its west. Form above all, we can see that America geographical environment is better than China to some degrees, such as the continent around by Canada and Mexico, and convenient sailing especially. So American don’t depend entirely on agriculture, they also develop the industry and commerce. These industries have a higher demand for individual, therefore, their thinking orientation is individual that differ form Chinese human orientation. In addition, adventure and trade of overseas lead to the full development of commercial society an outward society mode, in which people are with open mind and pioneering sprits that do favor of competition, personality, uniqueness, genius and fullest development of capabilities. In addition, with the deeper communication with out world, American much more like to explore and adventure, maybe that is the symbol of brave and intelligence.
3.2 history
With more than 5000 years of history, China has a wonderful culture and splendid civilization. Speaking form the political position, most of Chinese history is in a state of unity which began with one person who rules the country form the Yellow emperor. The unified thoughts follow China for two thousand years, and emperor in the past dynasties constantly reinforce the though. In a word, this unity incarnates all aspects, but the most essential is the ideological and cultural unit. Given that, the structure of family is affected just like a litter dynasty, in which parents have the absolute authority to discipline their children, and children should always follow parents’ advice. In traditional family, people emphasis the ancestry concepts that means both of the family have the same fame or privilege in society. Therefore, there is no freedom to choose friends and spouses, even identity own ideas, as the saying said,”无规矩不成方圆.” But this builds the excellent Chinese traditions such as filial piety. Although in nowadays, under the lead of communism that encourages people to pursuit freedom and equality, most Chinese still prefer the unity and rules.
However, America only has 500 years history, but it has become the superpower in the world with dramatic developments. Form the discovery of the new world by Christopher Columbus, the war of independence, the civil war to now, American always fights for their own right, freedom and equality. In 1789, The American Constitution went into effect, providing that the government was divided into three branches: the legislative, the executive and the judicial, which meant each branch had part of the powers, not all the powers, and could check the actions of other branches to keep balance. The Civil Right Movement in the 1950s gives another good example that a black worker in Alabama refused to give her seat to a white passenger and she was arrested. Then started a boycott led by Martin Luther King, who later became a national hero. In 1956, the Supreme Court declared Alabama’s segregation laws unconstitutionally. In addition, mobility is considered to be one of the characteristics of American people because of the population movement form the end of 1960s still now to seek more new opportunities.
3.1belief
China is a country with a great diversity of religious beliefs. According to incomplete statistics, there are over 100 million followers of various religious faiths, more than 85,000 sites for religious activities, some 300, 000 clergy and over 3,000 religious organizations throughout China. The main religious are Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism. There is no denying that religious beliefs play an even vital effect on Chinese values including family values and reflect the characteristics and way of handling with things of Chinese. Taking the Buddhism for example, there are four noble truths: first, to live is to suffer; second, the cause of suffering is self-centered desire and attachments; third, suffering ends when one is freed from desire. This is achieved by eliminating all delusion, thereby reaching a liberated state of Enlightenment (Nirvana, 涅); last, the way to Nirvana is through the “Eight-Fold Path”. We can conclude that the Buddhism teach people not to have desire but only to suffer, resulting in that people are prone to take things as they are and keep harmonious with others, not different form others. As for the Taoism, it emphasizes strongly the union of man and nature, suggesting that man controls his environment not by fighting it but by cooperating with it.
America is a typical religious country. 90﹪of American have their own religion and nearly 78﹪of people pray at least one time per week. Christianity is the dominant religion in American and Protestant is predominating. As for the Christianity, any individuals are equal before God and they believe that they can communicate directly to god. Christians share a certain set of beliefs that they hold as essential to their faith, though there are many differences of interpretation and opinion of Bible on which Christianity is based. Its main points include: belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Holy Sprits; the death, descent into hell, resurrection, and ascent of Christ; the holiness of Church and the communion of saints; Christ’s second coming, the Day of Judgment and salvation of the faithful. Different from Chinese suffering, Christianity emphasizes the holiness to god and faith to oneself. The equality before god enables the equality between parents and children no matter how old they are. So it is normal to call parents’ name and chat with each other as friends.

Ⅳ. Conclusion
In a word, family is the most fundamental unit of all human society. Not only is it a warm harbor to give us a shelter opening all the time, but also it is a lighthouses that guides and influences us. Moreover, family is the source of one's values because it is within the family that one learns the very things that will shape you throughout life. More importantly, family value is the core of the value system, which has decisive influence on people’s behavior and mind. What you think, how you act, even your language are all influenced by the family value from the wider cultural context. Family values in China and America are quite typical, the differences of which are demonstrated in many aspects, such as the core sprits, marriage, parent-child relationship and so on. While, these differences are also influenced by various factors including geography, history, and belief.
Form my point of view, I tend to hold that the best way to reduce misunderstanding is to conduct communication and mutual understanding between people with different cultural background. Cultural understanding and blending is a long and painful process, which needs two sides to make painstaking efforts. In the process of intercultural communication, no matter which country people come form, they should show respect and be tolerant to the other side. It is possible that the main American culture and Chinese culture coexist. For example, Chinese parents may develop the relationship with children as friends, to chat with each other heart to heart and give more freedom to be independent without lots of excessive protections and interferences. As for American parents, it is better to keep restraint appropriately to tie the close relationship with children.
This paper emphasizes the differences of family values between China and America. Form the comparison and contrast of family values in the two countries, can help us to acquire a further insight in culture shock and gaps in communication, which is beneficial for people of the two countries to avoid misunderstanding during cross-cultural communication, as well as practically meaningful to communicate with each other efficiently.

 

 


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Acknowledgments

On the completion of my paper, I owe a large debt of gratitude to many people who helped me see this project through. My thanks go first to my tutor Professor Zhu Song who instructed me with great patience and gave me shrewd comments and quick corrections. I am grateful to teachers of the School of Foreign Languages of Huanggang Normal University whose kindness and advices have made this work possible. They have helped me a lot in improving my English language and have ushered me into the fascinating world of English literature and western culture.
I am especially indebted to my parents and roommates for their continuous support all the time. Without their encouragement, this paper could not be possible.

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