ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (7): 1239-1247.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2013.01239

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Coping of the Chinese People: From Emic and Etic Perspectives

WANG Xinjian;SHI Mengwei   

  1. (Department of Social Psychology, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China)
  • Received:2012-12-07 Online:2013-07-15 Published:2013-07-15
  • Contact: WANG Xinjian

Abstract: Coping of the Chinese people has so far been studied from two perspectives: the etic perspective and the emic perspective. The etic perspective is concerned with the influence of Chinese culture on the cultural environment of coping, traits of the self, sources of stress, patterns of coping and results of coping. It has gained some objective knowledge on coping, and has revealed the praxis of coping of the Chinese people. Since, however, the etic perspective emphasizes the universality of its theory, it is not quite specific to the actual condition in China. The emic perspective, on the contrary, draws the ideas of coping, which in nature are the guides to and the improvement of the psychic life, from the traditional Chinese culture, i.e. Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. It is more intimate to the Chinese people and deep to the essence of their coping, but the ambiguity, subjectivity of its theory, as well as the tendency of diversification of the psyche and behaviour of modern Chinese people, will inevitably lead to some deficiencies in its theory. Both perspectives have their own advantage and disadvantage. They are complementary to each other, and are to be combined together in future studies.

Key words: coping, stress, emic approach, etic approach, Chinese culture