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The Lineage Theory of the Regional Variation of Individualism/Collectivism in China.


ABSTRACT: China has undergone a rapid process of modernization since 1949. The modernization process has accelerated with the development of the market economy and rural-to-urban migration after the 1980s. Nevertheless, Chinese regions still exhibit substantial differences in terms of individualist/collectivist cultural orientations. The rice theory and the climato-economic theory have attempted to explain this variation by analyzing provincial-level data. Based on a quantitative analysis of more granular, county-level variables spanning from the early 1990s until 2010, we offer an alternative account of this cultural variety based on lineage development in different Chinese regions. Using the ArcGIS geographic information system, we first present the regional distribution of individualism/collectivism indicators at the county level through descriptive statistics and spatial analysis. We also run a regression model to analyze county-level data on individualism/collectivism that includes three periods (1990, 2000, and 2010). Our multi-level analysis shows that lineage development is a critical variable that explains more regional variation of culture in China when compared to other variables. While rice farming, the key variable of the rice theory, is a significant variable, its explanatory power is less than the lineage variable. Finally, our analysis shows that the climato-economic theory fails to explain the regional variation of culture.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7854463 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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