Monday, September 24, 2007

Chinese World View

Conceptual Framework (Julie Calma)

For this project, the team used the Chinese World View as the guiding principle. Organismic wholeness/interconnectedness, education/didacticism, family, rectification of names, humanism, duty and shame are all central aspects of the Chinese World View. The group found that the Chinese World View was clearly presented throughout the magazine. Also evident in the issues were the similarities between the Asianadian aims and the Chinese World View. One aim is, “to stand up against the distortions of our history in Canada, stereotypes, economic exploitations and the general tendency towards injustice and inequality practiced on minority groups.” This is clearly presented in the articles relating to social issues, such as sexism, racism etc. and ties in with the Chinese World View of producing harmony within society. An interesting article that this group found tied well with social issues and stereotyping was, “I Dig Asian Chicks!” by Jasmine Hosai-Dumlao. It is here that she specifically mentions the false beliefs and images that Westerners have of Asian women. Asian women are mostly seen as passive, possessing the quality of “oriental” femininity. For many obvious reasons, these are merely just stereotypical images. This article also discusses the insecurities Asian women have because of the content of what is shown in Western media. They are constantly bombarded with images of the typical beautiful Western woman, with long legs, double-folded eyelids and a nice bridge on their nose. Asian women tend to feel self-conscious about their own appearances, those of other Asian women, and in turn, feel the need to conform. Hosai-Dumlao raises the issue of not becoming dependent on the approval of others. The best thing to do would be to fight against the stereotypes in Western society and “separating the myth and the reality in our minds and in the minds of others” (Hosai-Dumlao, 8). In Face to Face, and interview with Jag Bhadauria, he talks about social issues, human rights and education. During the interview, he states that education is a strong element and can change the way people think. He also comments that if children more often saw teachers, principals and counselors from different racial backgrounds, stereotypes would not exist.

Our group had intended to use the Chinese World View as our guiding principle throughout our research of the Asianadian, yet, through reading the different articles did not have to search far. These two articles well represent the aims of the Asianadian and the Chinese World View. Clearly shown is that the Asianadian wants to produce harmony and interconnectedness within society with Asians of all backgrounds as well as Westerners. The Asianadian also provides a means to speak out about social injustices of all sorts and discusses many topics that would normally be taboo back in Asian societies in the east.

Methodology (Julie Calma)

A case study is one method of doing research on a social science subject. This method is used when ‘how’ or ‘why’ questions need to be explained, the researcher is completely independent of the events he is investigating, and when the issue is “on a contemporary phenomenon within some real-life context” (Yin, 13). According to the article by Robert K. Yin, case studies are used in:

  • policy, political science, and public administration research
  • community psychology and sociology
  • organization and management studies
  • city and regional planning research (i.e. Studies of plans, neighborhoods or public agencies and
  • the conduct of large proportions of dissertations and theses in the social sciences.

For this particular project, Russel worked on the research questions, history, value, leadership and worth of the company. Marian provided information on executive summary, leadership control, profile of stockholders, current value of the stock, and the mission and vision of Asianadian. Tina contributed the data she collected on product line/operations, marketing analysis and strategies, research and development, management organization and competitors of the company. Julie worked on an analysis of the content in the magazines, government relations and methodology. Each week, the group set up a meeting time to discuss research developments on the project, keep on track, and to observe the progress of individual and team goals.

Due to the fact that Asianadian is no longer in print, the case study our group used was entirely based on historical information. Of the six sources of evidence: documentation, interviews, archival records, direct observation, participant-observation, and physical artifacts, we relied solely on documentation and interviews in order to collect evidence. The only documentation available to us was the collection of Asianadian magazines. By utilizing our limited resources, we read through specific magazines to gather content information and to observe the direction and aims of the company. The other source of evidence utilized was interviews. Each group member emailed former Asianadian founders, writers and contributors in an open-ended nature, asking for them to recall facts and any information relevant to the subjects being researched.

Implementing the first principle of data collection was rather difficult for the group because the Asianadian is no longer an existing publication, therefore, multiple sources of evidence could not be used. As mentioned earlier, the only sources used were that of documentation and interviews. In creating a case study data base, each member relied on his or her individual case study notes and research findings. These were notes obtained by emailing those that worked on the Asianadian including the ideas they shared about the company. Our group maintained a chain of evidence as we sought out the information from the people who knew the company first hand and had personal history in the establishment of the magazine.

The Five Disciplines (Group)

Systems Thinking

Systems thinking is the ability to grasp the entire framework from its conception to its completion. Russel wants to keep an open mind and not be biased by his own cultural views so that he can gain a fuller perspective on how Asian cultures relate to one another. Julie wants to understand how the Chinese World View exists in today’s Asian culture. Marian hopes to have a broader understanding of the social issues of marginalized Asian groups. Tina hopes to have a full learning experience about the Chinese World View as it applies to the past and present, and not allow her learning to be hindered by project deadlines.

Personal Mastery

Each member of the group has different goals they wish to achieve. Julie hopes to improve her skills at analyzing new cultures. This is especially useful in her future career as an officer in the Air Force because she will be immersed in a diverse environment. Tina wants to hone her interviewing skills in hopes she can better prepare herself for a career in broadcasting. Marian wants to learn how to produce a quality case study as well as improve her research skills because she has found the skill useful throughout her college career. Russel, being in the American Ethnic Studies and Communication departments, hopes to apply course concepts to better understand different cultures he encounters.

Mental Models

               Senge states that “mental models are deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations, or even pictures or images that influence how we understand the world” (Senge 8).  The group’s mental models of Asianadian varied slightly.  Julie's first assumption of Asianadian was that it was going to be solely devoted to Asian pop culture.  She also believed that the publication would still be in circulation.  Russel centered his mental models around other Asian popular culture themed magazines that he had previously viewed (e.g. Giant Robot, Yolk).  Thus his expectation was for Asianadian to also deal with Asian popular culture.  Tina’s mental model of Asianadian was that it would discuss popular Canadian tourist attractions for Asians to visit (e.g. Toronto and Vancouver, B.C.).  Marian assumed that Asianadian would only deal with issues of the dominant Asian racial groups (e.g. Chinese, Japanese, Koreans).  She also thought the magazine would utilize color and be printed with modern-day technology.                

Shared Vision

Shared vision is the “capacity to hold a shared picture of the future we seek to create.” A shared vision is useful because it gives everyone in the group a common goal to achieve. The goal of this team is to examine the magazine, Asianadian, and create a corporate profile of an intended takeover of a corporation in order to convince shareholders that the Chinese media entity under siege would be profitable. Since Asianadian stopped circulation in 1985, this case study will apply the methods of a historical corporate profile. Tina’s vision for this project is to bring the past social issues that were explored in Asianadian and introduce them to a current audience. Julie hopes to gain a broader perspective of other Asian cultures as well as gain a better understanding of the subject matters addressed in Asianadian. Marian hopes to create a project that will highlight Asianadian’s mission statement and see how this revolutionary magazine gave a voice to Canada’s Asian population. Russel’s vision is to apply the Chinese World View to an overseas media and determine if facets of the World View apply to other Asian ethnic groups.

Team Learning

Team learning is integral to a group’s success. First, the group separated the twenty tasks of this project evenly so that each member does an equal part. Julie wants to learn how to work cooperatively in a group and allow each member to contribute their talents to this project. Russel wants to use his previous case study experience to guide the rest of the group in producing a quality case study. Tina wants to be able to voice opinions openly and clearly while avoiding conflict with headstrong group members. Marian hopes to learn how to work effectively in a group setting, as it is a valuable skill to have in the business world. These ambitions will be put to the test over the course of the following weeks, as the team will meet on a weekly basis to work on this project as well as interact with one another in class.

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