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Living In Post Mao Era In China

1221 words - 5 pages

Living in post-1978 in the Reform Era after Mao was during a time of societal change because of capitalism. Capitalism is an economic ideal that focuses on private business and individual gains. The infiltration of capitalism and the characteristics that it brought had an impact on the people of China. The economy in the post Mao era began to see changes in the gap between rich and poor, privatization of jobs, consumerism and the housing market. Capitalism leads to shifts in identity in China's people in all these things.The gap between the rich and poor means that people of low socioeconomic status are at a considerable distance away from reaching a level of wealth like that of the rich people in society. This gap is ever increasing in society, making continuously more difficult for the underprivileged to get ahead and survive comfortably in China. Capitalism being introduced to China's economy plays a key role to why it is hard to survive, capitalism is also creating an identity shift in the people and what they identify with. People that were raised in traditional Chinese culture identified with family background and the genuine nature of one's surname. This is no longer the case. Today people identify more with their socioeconomic status and the struggle to become monetarily rich. This struggle to the top that is inspired by capitalism neglects traditional personal identity. "Economic organization in China today is increasingly capitalist or, in the parlance of the CCP, following the rules of market socialism. This brought stunning economic growth and painful economic disparities." (Cheek, 2001:25) Cheek illustrates that capitalist influences have created a burden on the people, and while some gain and others lose, it pushes socioeconomic classes in opposite directions.Jobs in China are more difficult to get and keep than they once use to be when compared to assigned work units. No longer are jobs given to the people, they are now privatized. Capitalism has put more focus on people's ability to produce a product and the amount of quality of the work. Instead of being assigned a work unit, the post reform era and taken away a personal identifying factor for people. No longer can they identify with the work unit they were in. people now struggle competing for jobs and to find a new identity in the work they do. This shift in identity driven by capitalism is a new way of life that has made much difficulty for people. Being thrown into a new work force to stand on their own is vicious and difficult, especially because China is without much instruction and it's for the first time. ["Any perfect candidates? I want perfect!" She remarked. Biao did not give her a direct answer but said, "It's like finding needles in the sea." Five people were waiting to be interviewed by Ms. Tang."](Pun, 2005:53) Pun Ngai examines the brutality of a new market that focuses on individual labor and one's ability to bring quality as a characteristic to the work place....

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