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Series:

Nanny Kim

The commercialized economy of late imperial China depended on efficient transport, yet transport technologies, transport economics as well as its role in local societies and in interdependencies of environments and human activities are acutely under-researched. Nanny Kim analyses two transports systems into the Southwest of Qing China through the long eighteenth century and up to the mid-nineteenth century civil wars. The case studies explore shipping on the Upper Changjiang in Sichuan and through the Three Gorges into Hubei, and road transport out of the Sichuan Basin across northeastern Yunnan and northwestern Guizhou into central Yunnan. Specific and concrete investigations of a river that presented extreme dangers to navigation and carriage across the crunch zone of the Himalayan Plateau provides a basis for a systematic reconstruction of transport outside the lowland centres and their convenient networks of water transport.

Chinese Research Perspectives on Society, Volume 3

Social Analysis and Forecast of China (2014)

Series:

Edited by Peilin LI, Guangjin CHEN and Yi ZHANG

All the articles featured in this volume first appeared in the Chinese-language edition of Blue Book of Chinese Society 2014. They present and analyze developments in 2012-2013 in income and consumption, industrial transformation, employment, social security, healthcare, education, quality of life and public sentiments. Most data come from several large-scale social surveys. There are a number of highlights. An entire chapter is devoted to capturing Chinese people’s outlook on their own future and that of the country. A special report takes the pulse of the Internet, whose social impact has grown rapidly in recent years. And for the first time in this series parenting strategies and styles of people with young children received special attention. Policy suggestions are provided.

Series:

Public Opinion Monitoring Office of People’s Daily Online

Abstract

In 2013, internet public opinion encountered a turning point, public opinion enthusiasm considerably abated, and complaints about the negative social phenomena dramatically decreased. Microbloggers with a large number of followers exercised caution in expressing opinions and were no longer active. Numerous netizens shifted from microblogs as public opinion platforms to the more private WeChat’s Circle of Friends—an online social platform. The internet and the entire system entered a new run-in period during which on the one hand, the government fought against disharmonious online opinions, and on the other hand, the government also endeavored to expand the positive energy of the internet by encouraging the development of mainstream media microblogs and government microblogs, and connected online anti-corruption with institutional anti-corruption.

Series:

Project Team for a Comprehensive Survey on China’s Social Conditions

Abstract

The Comprehensive Survey on China’s Social conditions (CSS2013) helps us understand the general public’s comprehensive evaluation of the national situation and their expectations of the future from the perspective of the “Chinese dream.” It covers economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological construction and makes measurement with many secondary indicators. Overall, economically, both urban and rural residents enjoyed steadily increasing income, and the employment situation was generally stable, and social security coverage continuously increased. Politically, the general public’s confidence in fighting corruption was further enhanced. Culturally, China’s cultural status in the international community was highly commended by the general public, and socialist core values were deeply rooted among the people. Socially, the people had a relatively strong sense of security about life, and increasing life satisfaction and happiness. Ecologically, both the transformation of the economic growth model and the task of achieving a harmonious development of nature and people had become the universal demand of both urban and rural residents.

Series:

Yiyong Yang and Zhenhe Chi

Abstract

The income gap issue is one of the current social issues that has attracted widespread attention in China. This paper provides a study of the latest changes in income distribution and the income gap. In 2012, the income gap in urban areas, rural areas, and between urban and rural areas narrowed, and overall income gap also shrank. With respect to functional income distribution, as the proportion of the output value of the secondary industry decreased, overall labor remuneration ratio increased in China in 2012. The pattern of distribution among residents, enterprises, and government continued to develop in favor of government; the income redistribution system, especially, reinforced the advantageous position of government in the pattern of distribution among citizens, enterprises, and government.

Series:

Jian Wang

Abstract

In 2013, the implementation of a national education plan entered a crucial stage; educational development advanced towards structural optimization and quality improvement. A series of educational policies and projects to benefit the people were introduced or launched at the national level, and local governments took concrete actions, but the progress was unbalanced among regions. Current educational reform has entered a “deep water” period, during which the difficulties in educational reform and development must be overcome by adopting comprehensive reform measures and giving overall considerations to the impact of the economy and society on education. It is also necessary to reinforce top-level design, identify the points for breakthroughs, and make major breakthroughs to move forward in a holistic way. To yield more iconic results as soon as possible, it is necessary to adjust the educational structure, reform the examination and enrollment system, and transform government functions.

Series:

Pin Xue, Changhui Shi, Wenxia Zhang, Guangxi He and Yandong Zhao

Abstract

This paper is based on the data from one survey on primary and middle school students across China to comprehensively analyze the future expectations that parents of primary and middle school students have for their children in education, occupation, and going abroad. As indicated by survey results, parents generally had relatively high expectations for the future education of their children, and a considerable number of parents expected that their children could study abroad. Occupations with a high degree of professionalism, high stability, and high social reputation were most desirable for parents, while the most undesirable thing for parents is that their children became workers and farmers. The expectations illustrated relatively obvious differences in social stratum.

Series:

Qingzhe Lu

Abstract

This paper provides an analysis of income and consumption of urban and rural residents in China in 2013 and an approximation of the development trend in living expenditures among urban and rural residents in China in 2014. In 2013, the income for urban and rural residents in China continued to grow, their standard of living continued to improve, the level of consumption further increased, and both the philosophy and mode of consumption changed. However, the consumption expectation was not optimistic due to China’s macroeconomic situation; high cost of housing and rising commodity prices affected immediate consumption and weakened the potential for consumption growth. The marginal effect of current policies for expanding domestic demand was close to the limit; a safe and loose consumption environment is still unavailable in the current state of society. It is expected that China’s GDP growth rate will be slightly higher than 7% and total retail sales of consumer goods will grow by about 13% in 2014.

Series:

Peilin Li and Yi Zhang

Abstract

In 2013, China further advanced into the deep waters of reform. Overall, a series of policies for structural adjustment, growth stabilization, and development promotion yielded the following preliminary results. Economic growth rates stabilized; employment rates showed a positive trend in which aggregate demand slightly exceeded aggregate supply, and urbanization levels are expected to surpass 54%. Compulsory education further developed in a balanced way. University enrollment favored central and western regions. The transformation of government functions accelerated, and non-governmental organizations are expected to grow substantially in the future. More and more people were covered by social insurance. However, problems concerning development imbalance and unsustainability still exist. Statistical data relating to the first three quarters of 2013 indicated that the growth of income for urban and rural residents slowed down. Rising food and housing costs affected the consumption lifestyles of the ordinary people and delayed the naturalization of rural migrant workers. University graduates experienced difficulties in finding employment—structural unemployment will be problem that will continue into the foreseeable future. The problem in providing for the elderly will become more striking. Mass incidents caused by environmental deterioration rapidly increased. Violent terrorist incidents in some areas had an impact society’s sense of security as a whole society. Therefore, continuing to properly handling the intensity, progress, and direction of macro-control and making stable efforts in guaranteeing and improving the people’s livelihood will be of very great practical significance in 2014—the year of reform. Receiving adequate education and finding gainful employment are the two chief aspirations of every Chinese. It is necessary to take all these factors into considerations when pushing forward with relevant policies related to reforming the household registration system. With the implementation of the two-child policy, which allowed for couples to have two children if either the husband or the wife were only children, it is necessary to prevent a rebound in population numbers. It is imperative to soundly pushing forward rural land and housing system reform on the premise of protecting the interests of farmers. The most critical task lies in vigorously innovating the mode of social governance and promoting social harmony and stability.

Series:

Lianfei Zhao and Feng Tian

Abstract

The generation born in the 1990s has become the main portion of university students; their life and values have a great impact on China’s future development. The growth of this generation coincides with the incoming of globalization and unfolding of informatization in China. Globalization and informatization have exerted a profound impact on university students born in the 1990s. They play with smartphones, use notebook computers, watch US television series, listen to European and US pop music, and chat with friends online. Meanwhile, contemporary university students are facing a society where the gap between the rich and the poor is widening, and the lack of trust and individualism is prevalent. They are examining and building their life world from their perspectives.