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Civility and Its DevelopmentThe Experiences of China and Taiwan$
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David C. Schak

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9789888455973

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888455973.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2022. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 25 May 2022

Civility in China

Civility in China

(p.70) 4 Civility in China
Civility and Its Development

David C. Schak

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter explores the level of civil and uncivil behavior in China with examinations of tourist’s conduct, road behavior, how people treat strangers, conceptions of and attitudes toward disturbing others, treatment of public space and public goods, observance of rules and laws, acts of charity, compassion toward and consideration of others, and egregious actions of the rich, the powerful, and the privilege. Chinese tourists are notorious for their boorishness and breaches of propriety and are a cause of shame and consternation at home; other causes of shame are the treatment of strangers in distress such as the Little Yueyue incident and attempts to extort money from Good Samaritans, the defining case being that of Peng Yu. Driver behavior is influenced by China being at a very young stage of mass car ownership as well as by notions of loss of face and the desire to be first, and behavior toward others by the dichotomizing of society into those with whom one is familiar and strangers and the lack of concern with the latter, though response to disasters is impressive. Civility is hindered by a strong sense of the self, wealth and status inequality, and a casual attitude toward laws and rules.

Keywords:   civility in China, tourists, strangers, philanthropy, road behavior, inequality

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