However, different cultures view families and other organizations in a particularly wide and diverse manner. Some cultures feature the family as a one-man and one-woman hierarchy that are formally (or informally) married and live, work and interact with one another in a consistent and constant manner. Oftentimes, these marriages also lead to child-bearing and raising of families. The organizational philosophy of many of these families can be based on equal partnership of the married couple, with each one assuming certain roles and responsibilities based on his or her particular talents.
The manner in which the family is associated with the overall society in each country, however, is quite different. In the Chinese culture, the family is very important, oftentimes with the grandparents (and even great grandparents), parents, children and grandchildren all occupying residences that are relatively close by. The head of the family in the Chinese culture is the man, and he is deemed the one responsible for providing food, shelter and clothing for the family. Offspring are provided for until they are married and move into their own homes. Oftentimes, in rural areas, the entire family chooses to live together, including grandparents in many cases. Due to a unique Chinese law that allows for only one child per family, each family unit (if they have had a child) is locked in at three. There are exceptions to that rule, especially in the rural areas where children are productive members of many farming communities. Males, in the Chinese family and culture, are highly valued, and with the one-child law, it becomes much more important to have a male child, rather than a female child.
This law has some long-term effects that are just now starting to show evidence in the Chinese society. Comparing the Chinese family culture to the Swedish or American culture is very different. In Sweden, there are no restrictions on how many children a couple can have, but oftentimes the married couple holds off on having any children due to work and other considerations. This is true in the American culture as well. One key difference, is that the Swedish culture lends itself to a more gender neutral role, whereas in the United States, most married couples will oftentimes still show that the husband is the head of the household and is responsible for family decisions. This is slowly changing especially in the last couple of decades with more and more American women working outside the homes.
Other culture differences in these three societies are also evident. The Chinese culture is one that seems based on longevity, history and tradition. This is evident in many aspects of the Chinese society with over 2000 years of history behind it. American society is much more wide-open and individualistic. Americans are known as brash, confident and filled arrogance. One recent article suggested that Americans can never form a consensus because of their individualism. The article states "there are moments when it can seem that each individual is his or her own idiosyncratic amalgam of beliefs, values and judgements" (Kuczewski, 2010, p. 18).
Swedish society is somewhat different than both the American and Chinese cultures. While the Swedish people are very self-reliant similar to the Americans, they also are adherents to trade-union philosophies. They also seem to be more likely to be ready to adopt certain issues that curb societies woes.
Kuczewski, M.G. (2010) The mission and philosophy of National Bioethics Commissions: Contributing to a stable societal consensus, Good Society Journal, Vol. 19, Issue 1, pp. 18-22
Mengyun, W. & Chuanming, C.; (2012) Obstacles of organizational learning and self-transcendence: Theoretical research based on Chinese family…