Abstract: Culture is the holistic interrelationship of a group’s identity, beliefs, values, activities, rules, customs, communication patterns, and institutions. (Dodd, 1998) Values are important components of a given culture accepted by individuals sharing that culture. They are deep and hidden elements of the cultural iceberg that are seldom questioned or defended but can reflect different characteristics of different cultures. Kluckhohn and Strodbeck’s value model is used here to analyze distinct Chinese and American culture.Key words:culture; values; Kluckhohn and Strodbeck’s value model; Chinese and American culture 1.
Introduction Culture is defined as the total way of life of a people, composed of their learned and shared behavior patterns, values, norms, and material objects. (Rogers&Steinfatt,1999) Not only do nationalities and ethnic groups have cultures, but so do communities, organizations, and other systems. Each different population or group creates its own culture that best fit their situation and they live in their cultures like fish living in water.Values, as one element of a culture, involve what a culture regards as good or bad, right or wrong, fair or unfair, just or unjust, beautiful or ugly, clean or dirty, valuable or worthless, appropriate or inappropriate, and kind or cruel. (Rokeach, 1973, 1979) Though Values do not necessarily describe behaviors in a culture, they provide explanations for what we do.
They tend to be the basis of all the decisions we make and provide criteria for us to assess our own and others’ actions.Therefore, values can be regarded as hidden part of a culture if culture is likened to an iceberg. If we intend to know better about a culture, it is inevitable for us to go deep into it and study its values. 2.
Kluckhohn and Strodbeck’s Model for The Study of Values Kluckhohn and Strodbeck (1961) studied cultural value orientations. Their pioneer work singled out five universal problems faced by all human societies and the cultural value orientations they represent: 1. What is the nature of human being?