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How Similar Are the Values of the People of China and Taiwan?

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image of Comparative Sociology
For content published from 1960-2001, see International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

The reunification of Taiwan with China is one possible future development. Value differences can make the merging of two previously divided societies more difficult. How similar are the values – conceptions of the desirable – of the people now living in China and Taiwan? Representative national sample data from the World Values Surveys for both countries enable us to compare values in eleven domains. There are statistically significant differences on most values between respondents in the two societies, but the degree of difference varies among domains. The largest differences are found in religious values; lesser differences exist in trust and confidence, economic values, and values concerning the environment and science. Value similarities are greatest in the domains of family values, personal satisfaction, social stratification, and gender. The bearing of social structural conditions in China and Taiwan on these value differences and similarities is shown.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology, Brown University, Providence, RI, 02912, USA;, Email:


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