Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Redefining the Value Structure of College Students in Hong Kong and the Mainland of China

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Redefining the Value Structure of College Students in Hong Kong and the Mainland of China

Article excerpt

Research and the theory of historical and dialectical materialism suggest that tradition and modes of production would shape the individual's value structure. Corresponding ideologies of modes of production, namely, socialism, capitalism, and feudalism would have their corresponding value factors on Chinese. A study of 1,221 China's and 1,174 Hong Kong's college students provided a test of the proposed 3-factor structure defining socialist/Confucian, capitalist, feudalist values. Confirmatory factor analysis verified its validity. The 3-factor structure was also more theoretically, methodologically, and empirically adequate than Bond's (1988) conceptualization of Chinese values. In addition, indifference in levels of the three values between students in Mainland China and Hong Kong reflected the students' common orientation to Chinese culture.

The People's Republic of China (Mainland China) is a socialist country (Song, 1992) and Hong Kong is a capitalist society (Lau & Kuan, 1988). As a socialist country, Mainland China has an economic structure of planned economy and market socialism (Mayer, 1994). The state of China carries important roles in planning, production, and redistribution for the economy. Being a typical capitalist society, Hong Kong operates in a market economy under a laissez-faire policy (Woronoff, 1980). The Hong Kong government has kept itself removed from the market. Despite the structural difference, Mainland China and Hong Kong share a common heritage of Chinese tradition, typically Confucianism and collectivism (Ho & Chiu, 1994). Conceivably, this mixture of tradition and the mode of production in terms of socialism and capitalism would engender different ideological or value structures characteristic of Mainland and Hong Kong Chinese societies. There has been no empirical study dealing with such ideological structure with reference to the mode of production and Chinese tradition. With the aim of filling this void, the present study would redefine the value structure of Chinese society with empirical data.

The present structure employs Bond's (1988) items to measure values of college students in Mainland China and Hong Kong. By using exploratory factor analysis twice for value data from Hong Kong, China and other cultures, Bond (1988) derived six value factors, (1) social integration versus cultural inwardness, (2) reputation versus social morality, (3) success versus personal morality, (4) competence versus security, (5) social reliability versus beauty, and (6) political harmony versus personal sociability. The factor-analyzed values items were partly indigenously derived and partly taken from Rokeach's (1973) instrument for Chinese society. Thus, Bond's (1988) defined the value structure of Chinese society in terms of both Chinese and Western value items.

Bond's (1988, 1996) works are unsatisfactory, theoretically, and also to some extent, methodologically. The major theoretical shortcoming is the lack of a theoretical framework, one deriving from theory and research tradition, not from empirical exploration. To constitute a theoretical framework for studying values among Chinese, Marx's theory of historical and dialectical materialism (Leonard, 1984) and the research tradition on Confucianism (Ho & Chiu, 1994) are pertinent.

One important proposition from Marx's theory is that the ideological structure is a reflection of the mode of production (Burawoy, 1990). Thus, the mode of production can shape the individual's personality (Leonard, 1984). Each mode of production (feudalist, capitalist, and socialist) generated an ideology conducive to its survival (Cohen, 1978). Although Mainland China may not be a pure case of socialism, it claims to be a socialist country and promotes socialist values through education (Jin & Ouyang, 1992; Teng & Zhang, 1992). Socialism in China has its special characteristics because of its integration of socialist values and Confucian values. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.