Representatives of different cultures have diverse values, demonstrate varying behaviors, adopt different perspectives, and in some cases even varied susceptibility to diseases.
Cultural differences are more profound than individual variations due to patient illness, social class, economic status, or educational background. A popular view among health professionals is that showing respect is the key to resolving absolute majority of cultural problems. Unfortunately, this simple recipe is not always effective: the profound differences between Chinese and American cultures presented below demonstrate that respect is only one aspect of cultural competence.
Chinese culture is characterized by specific attitude toward self. Thus, American Peter Hessler claims this to be the biggest difference between the West and what he observed while teaching literature in one of the Chinese provinces: "the sense of self seemed largely external; you were identified by the way that others viewed you" (Hessler 2001: 282). This difference is also reflected on the famous Geert Hofstede's model of cultural value orientation.
The model consists of five dimensions, one of which is individualism. This dimension reveals the degree to which the society reinforces individual or collective achievement. ...