China Cultural Analysis

Brief History

With nearly 1.5 billion people, China has the biggest percentage of the world population based on country terms. The vast majority of the country’s citizens is largely rural, as around eight hundred million people reside in rural areas while the rest, roughly 35 percent reside in urban areas. Since the introduction of new family planning laws took effect, the population growth rate considerably slowed down (Murphey 10).

Family values are very important to Chinese culture. Today, the family harmony still plays a very significant role in the hearts of Chinese people. Most families, even when they are busy, will spend their weekends with each other, doing whole families can get together to eat, chat, and enjoy lives.

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The role of family values remains relevant in the Chinese society. In this regard, family harmony is viewed as being pivotal towards attaining success within families. Towards achieving this goal, families make efforts to meet and spend weekends together. Apart from holding talks on family issues, members drink, eat, and enjoy in such parties (Sang 21).

Social life is a function of economic wellness. As a result, the income due to a family influences the levels of consumption. Just as it is the case in almost all countries, the urban population is always better off, and thus able to spend more since they earn relatively higher incomes in comparison to the rural people.

Geography

China is situated in the eastern part of Asia. The country stretches around three thousand four hundred miles from the North to the South while stretching approximately three thousand two hundred miles from the East to West.

Fourteen countries border the Chinese Republic; they include Vietnam, Burma, Lao, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, North Korea, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Russia. The country also borderes with the East China Sea and the Yellow Sea.

China is rich in deserts, deltas, plains in the western part while its eastern part is predominantly hilly. Finally, it is important to mention that the country’s cover is largely covered with high plateaus and mountains. The country’s climate is reflected by changing temperatures as one moves from the south to the north. The temperatures are higher in the south in comparison to the north. A yearly range of approximately 85 degrees Fahrenheit between the two poles corroborates this fact (Sang 23).

Social Institutions

Family

The Chinese way of life revolves around living together as a family. It is hence little surprising that children (daughters and sons), parents and grandparents generally reside in one home. It is, however, clear that on reaching the marriage age, daughters and sons, do not always prefer staying with the parents.

At this stage, the children move out of the family homes to go and begin new lives away. In some cases, economic difficulties have forced people to prefer families without kids. However, until recently, the big family setup was the most dominant in the Chinese Republic (Thurston 94).

In order to get a clear view of the family institution, it is imperative to digress to the ancient times. During these times, men were the focal points in the family setting. The men made all decisions affecting the family, as the role of the women was only supportive. The women were lowly ranked and they had to focus on household chores such as parenting.

Women never ventured into business outside their homes. However, things have changed and women are more empowered. In this regard, women are able to seek work outside homes, and are thus in positions of making decisions. Despite the developments, one aspect of the Chinese culture remains, the expectation to respect the elderly (Thurston 95).

Education

China instituted a long-term project in 1986 to provide children with mandatory education which lasts for 9 years. By the turn of 2007, there were around hundred thousand secondary schools and four hundred thousand primary schools. In 2000, ninety-nine percent of the male population aged between fifteen and twenty-four were literate while ninety-eight percent of the female population in the same age category was also literate (Thurston 96).

Education statistics

Youth (15-24 years) literacy rate, 2004-2008*, male – 99

Youth (15-24 years) literacy rate, 2004-2008*, female – 99

Number per 100 population, 2008, phones – 48

Number per 100 population , 2008, Internet users – 22

Primary school enrolment ratio 2005-2009*, gross, male -111

Primary school enrolment ratio 2005-2009*, gross, female -116

Primary school enrolment ratio 2005-2009*, net, male – 100

Primary school enrolment ratio 2005-2009*, net, female – 100

Survival rate to last primary grade (%) 2005-2009*, admin data 100

Secondary school enrolment ratio 2005-2009*, gross, male 74

Secondary school enrolment ratio 2005-2009*, gross, female 78

Political system: structure, parties, stability, tax rates, local government

The country is under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) (Terrill 63). The party draws its power from the constitution. Other parties in the country are the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the National People’s Congress (NPC).

The leadership is largely dictatorial and dissenting parties are rarely allowed to have things their way. Despite the closed nature of the political system, the country remains very stable. It is worth noting that the role of the local government is largely limited, as the central government holds immense powers over national and local matters. Tax rates remain higher for rural populations although attempts to reduce them have been made.

Legal system: judiciary, code or common, intellectual property

The legal system of China is relatively tied to the political wing of government. The legal system is tailored to serve the ruling party interests. However, it is important to underscore the importance of the legal framework in reference to the role it plays in streamlining relations in the country by settling all disputes in the country. Regarding intellectual property, there are minimal measures put in place to protect intellectual property (Thurston 97).

Economy

Up until 1970, the Chinese economy was small. Nevertheless, from this time, the country’s economy has been on an upward trend. Augmenting this view, the country has increased global interactions in terms of trading. Additionally, the country’s GNP has risen annually since 1970 (Cateora and Graham 46).

Further, the shift of the Chinese economy to advanced technology also supports the development idea. However, the growing economy has led to other problems hitherto un-witnessed in the country. Such problems include limited energy sources, transport and communication facilities, etc. the setbacks aside, the Chinese republic continues to be a world leader in the production and supply of rice, crude oil, coal, soybeans, tobacco, wheat, etc.

Table 1 proves that average disposable income and the consumption levels in the Chinese republic are relatively low when compared to other developed nations. Another aspect that springs up centers on the expenditure patterns of the Chinese people. Unlike other people from different parts of the world, the Chinese people prefer saving their money than spending. This is based on the Chinese tradition, which lays emphasis on saving for the future generations.

Urban families

(Yuan/person)

Rural families (Yuan/person)
Disposable income3934.941280.5
Consumption expenditure2619.551072.2

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