Monday, September 14, 2009

Men are from the West, Women are from China

I am reading Post American World by Fareed Zakaria and just encountered his idea that the Chinese, who are steeped in Confucianism rather than Abrahamic monotheism, value relationships more than abstract concepts like the law.  They are also more situationally ethical rather than adherent to dictates of contracts, another abstraction.  I have noticed in my dealings with the law in China that they do not hold contracts as sancosanct as we Westerners do.  They also do not follow stare decisis--precedent from other courts so you may go through the Western analysis of what the cases have held and it is still a crap shoot how your case will come out.

All of these observations bring to mind Carol Gilligan's A Different Voice, which I mentioned in yesterday's post.  That book viewed women as being more guided in their ethical decisions by interpersonal relationships than abstract concepts like justice. Sound familiar?  Perhaps it would be better to send women to do business with the Chinese.

No comments: