Chinese and world cultural models of developmental hierarchy
Prior research on cultural models of developmental hierarchy finds broad cross-national agreement among publics about the rank ordering of societies on perceived level of development, based on an omnibus measure of development. In this research, I use a multidimensional index of world hierarchy derived from subjective evaluations of a large number of national attributes to explore dimensionality in Chinese perceptions of global hierarchy. Statistical analysis show that the data exhibit over time stability and strong association with objective measures of development and with alternate subjective measures of world hierarchy. Irrespective of the national attributes evaluated, Chinese respondents produced a very similar rank-ordering of countries on each of six different indexes. The Chinese model of world hierarchy shows broad overlap with the global hierarchy produced by raters from 19 other surveyed publics. Notable differences between Chinese and world cultural models of hierarchy include especially negative views of Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and India among Chinese respondents, and unusually favorable opinions of Russia, relative to the ratings of these countries by other publics. Analyses also show that respondents from 19 societies ranked China higher on the cultural dimension than on any other dimension but ranked the Chinese government lower than all but one country. Results suggest that scales based on an omnibus subjective measure of developmental hierarchy and indexes based on subjective ratings of national attributes produce a similar world hierarchy of nations.
This is a manuscript of an article published as Dorius, Shawn F. "Chinese and world cultural models of developmental hierarchy." Chinese Journal of Sociology 2, no. 4 (2016): 577-608. doi:10.1177/2057150X16670832. Posted with permission.