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Chapter Summary

The concept of 'private' both in the West and in Chinese culture is very fuzzy, and the problem of whether the modern European notions of a positively-valued 'private' sphere had any real counterpart in traditional Chinese rhetoric has been much debated. In Europe, the progressive passage to the consciousness of a clear private sphere, separated from the public-identified with the state-was the result of a long process of mentality evolution from the end of Middle Age to the eighteenth century. The interrelation of culture's normative system and emotional experiences as well as personality traits has been studied by cultural psychology, and considered one of the fields of interaction between society (social values) and personal reactions. In ancient China they had a clear idea of the difference between any form of public and deliberate expressions, on the one hand, and the inner and hidden feeling, on the other hand.

Keywords: Chinese culture; cultural psychology; modern European notions; personality traits



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