China, at the age of 66, is a macho society: success-oriented and motivated. The fact that many Chinese will sacrifice family and leisure values to work exemplifies the necessity to secure success. Service workers (such as hairdressers) will work till extremely late at night. Leisure time isn't all that vital.
In China, there is a saying: "To be strong is good; to be gentle is better." The culture encourages strength through power and self-sufficiency. Being strong means not needing anyone else to succeed. Being gentle means being able to give without taking away.
The world's second largest economy is still predominantly a male-dominated society. In fact, according to recent statistics, only 19.5 percent of the people in China are female, while 80.5 percent are male. This ratio shows that China is a patriarchal society where males hold most of the power.
Even though women have made great strides in terms of education and employment, they are still underrepresented in decision-making positions. According to some experts, this phenomenon can be explained by the fact that females are often seen as a burden because of their need for care and support from birth until death. China has a very traditional view of the role of women; it is believed that they were created for men to serve them. As a result, most women stay at home and take care of the household duties while their husbands go to work.
Traditional Confucian culture in China has strict doctrines linking unequal gender stratification and the distribution of power and resources to its core of "three obedience" (san cong), especially for women, namely, women subordinate to men at all stages of life: daughters to their fathers, wives to their husbands. Men are expected to be authoritative with women, but not brutal.
However, modern Chinese society is becoming more open, with limited numbers of women in politics and business. Education is increasing the role of women in society and changing traditional views on their rights.
There is still a large gap between men and women when it comes to education in China. The number of female students continues to rise while that of male students starts to decline. This is particularly true for college students where there are now about 70 million male students but only 30 million female students. The shortage of teachers is another problem, with many schools unable to find enough people to replace those who retire or leave the profession.
The government has announced plans to increase the number of girls' schools by 2020, but remains reluctant to change the traditional system of inheritance which favors boys over girls.
China's one-child policy has created a generation of children without siblings or cousins nearby. As adults, they often cannot understand why they were given just one parent in what is usually a family situation involving two parents and sometimes other relatives.
Chinese society values the collective, whereas Americans value the individual. Individuals can shine in the United States, however in China, any achievement is considered as a success for the firm, family, or team. In America, you will find high-tech companies and inventors who become billionaires, while in China there are hundreds of millions of people who live below the poverty line.
In America, people can express themselves through their voice, vote, and access to information, while in China, such rights are limited by government regulations which place limits on how many candidates can run for office, and voter turnout is low.
In America, people can choose what job to have, while in China you are assigned to work in state-owned factories or offices. If you refuse the job, you will be punished with a jail sentence or fine.
In America, workers can join unions and go on strike if they want to get better wages or conditions, while in China, this option is not available to most employees.
In America, people can start businesses if they can find a niche market that no one else is serving, while in China, it's difficult because all spaces are occupied by large corporations.
A chronology of Chinese social history The entire civilization is always organized into several levels, much like a pyramid. While most people are fighting to exist, a small number of exceptional individuals are able to earn riches through advancement in the national bureaucratic system. These men acquire greater political power with each passing year, until they are finally granted official status as part of the Communist Party. Thereafter, they are free to pursue even more wealth, while their families will be provided for them.
China has a long history of using ranks and titles for discrimination. Although the communist government has done its best to eradicate this practice, some state-supported institutions such as universities and research organizations continue to rely on them.
In contemporary China, there are three official titles that may be awarded by the government to individuals or organizations: civil servant, academician, and practitioner. They are determined by their performance in an annual selection process called "promotion and transfer".
Civil servants are divided into four groups according to level and salary. At the top of the scale are senior officials who can expect to earn over 100,000 yuan (about $15,500) per year. Lower down are junior officials who can look forward to a monthly salary of around 2,500 yuan ($400). Office staff make between 800 and 1,500 yuan ($120-$240). In total, about 7 million people are employed by the government.
Traditional culture is valued by the elder generation and rural Chinese, who strive to maintain and uphold it. Chinese teenagers and city residents, on the other hand, are more receptive and passionate about progressive principles. They want to keep up with the latest trends in music, fashion, and food, and they will go to great lengths to do so.
In today's China, money is what values you. The younger generation in China's cities has no choice but to make money in order to survive. This has forced them to become materialistic and consumerist; yet at the same time, they are an idealistic group who believe in democracy, freedom, and human rights.
As long as there is a demand for their products, China's factory workers will never be free. Workers in these factories have no choice but to produce whatever their employers tell them to produce. If they refuse to work, or try to organize themselves into unions, they will be punished by being sent back to their old jobs or even fired outright.
The Chinese government's one-child policy was implemented to prevent overpopulation and to ensure the survival of the nation. However, this policy has also led to discrimination against children who happen to be two or three generations from a single parent. Poor implementation of the one-child policy is also to blame for the increasing number of orphanages in China.