The paper concentrates on the socio-cultural aspect of American-Chinese relations, viewed from the perspective of the 'Great Wall' concept. The 'Great Wall' is a particular visualization of these relations as well as a reason for examining China and the United States in the category of competitive symbols of the East and the West. This idea is often expressed by antagonistic cultural values, most clearly observed in the American and Chinese approaches to the importance of the individual and the community. The author analyzes American society as the embodiment of individualism, which at the same time situates the independent individual in the context of his or her need to belong to some larger community, represented either by the family or some other social organizations. Chinese society has been presented through the angle of Confucianism - a system which developed the cult of the family and collectivism, but did not appreciate the individual. The author has also outlined the contemporary process of gradual elimination of the traditional order in favor of the growing individualism of the youngest generation of Chinese. The causes and effects of cultural differences between China and America have been presented, with the conclusion that in the days of globalization the thus far conflicting approaches are undergoing a the process of far-reaching transformation through mutual adaptation of new values. Thus, the idea of diametrically opposed vision of Chinese and American society is becoming less and less justified.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.