The onset of the communist revolution played a major role in reforming the social and family life of the Chinese. Before the onset of the communist revolution there were several restrictions imposed upon the people of China. These restrictions significantly bound the manner in which members of the society interacted with each other. In fact, Freedman remarks that the level of restriction that existed before the revolution specifically affected the manner in which scholars could access information on the subject (342). This points out to one of the major social barriers in pre and post communist China: the access to information. Nevertheless, the colossal nature of China enabled people to publish material to expound on the social intricacies that the people experienced. Changes in political ideology during communism influenced the lifestyle, mindset, and perspectives of the people to a great length. In as much as additional focus has been given on the negative impacts of communism on the family and social life of the Chinese, it is also interesting to note that there were some positive attributes associated with the new political ideology.
First, it would be interesting to discover how communism changed the nuclear and extended family structure. Traditionally, the Chinese had a strong family unit, which is more expressed in the nuclear structure. The communist revolution strengthened the extended family unit by promoting the loyalty among more family members. However, Freedman argues that “before the liberation, kinship was one of the feudal chains binding the people” (342). The author could be right in his observation given the fact that this aspect forms a major aspect of Chinese’s cultural framework. The political ideology that existed before the communist revolution viewed the nuclear family unit as a basis of maintaining positive relationships. Indeed, since the man was given more authority within the nuclear family structure, it became necessary to maintain this chain as a strengthening factor. Thus, after the communist revolution, the rulers probably found it advantageous to increase the loyalty in an extended family, so that it could be possible to protect family structures that probably lacked a father or manly figure to represent their interests. Even though this may appear as a major benefit to the family, could it then be said that by promoting the level of loyalty in the extended family, the communist revolution essentially strengthened the patriarchal structure in the family unit? This could be right given the fact that the communist revolution intended to make the society more inclusive; hence, focusing on the nuclear family pattern could have undermined some of its objectives.
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Second, the communist of the revolution strengthened the marriage institution by putting in place suitable legislative measures to safeguard couples and families. Was this merely a strategy by the regime to use the marriage as a platform for enhancing positive coexistence among members of different genders? Huang described it as “the Marriage Law was reported to be the first important law passed by the Mao regime” (137). Since the Chinese were essentially a patriarchal society, the move could be seen as an attempt to create positive reforms to address individual disputes that normally arise in the course of marriage. This is also an institution for mutual co-existence and family patriotism. Hence, if couples could not promote them in a family setting, a similar approach could be used in enhancing governance among people.
Third, the end of the communist revolution decreased the social integration of the Chinese people because of the increased surveillance on the social media and other avenues that citizens relied upon to access important information. This was a negative impact on the society given the fact that information formed a central element in determining the level of social integration. This had an impact of the level of social interaction experienced among the people. However, during the post communist era China remained a closely knit society; hence, information could still flow among members even in the presence of the surveillance from the authorities.
Fourthly, the communist revolution enhanced the level of social interaction among the youth by improving the association between different genders. The communist revolution put more focus on youthful loyalty as a means of promoting social integration in the community level (Fairbank et al 21). The youth was seen as part of a rapidly increasing population whose members were expected to join different sectors of the economy. The youth was also viewed as the lifeline of the Chinese economy during the revolution, especially given the fact that during this time the communist government was determined to increase the production potential of China to a higher scale.
Additionally, the communist revolution changed the lifestyle of the youth by enhancing their social life cycle. “In former generations the extended family system, with its broad kinship ramifications and institutions of nepotism and family solidarity, gave young Chinese a ready-made group life” (Fairbank et al 22). Hence, once the social systems were already in place, it was possible to develop basic mechanisms to preserve their participation in predetermined roles by the society. Nevertheless, the end of the communist revolution did not give the youthful population more access to national governance structure.
Next, the end of the communist revolution changed the manner, in which Chinese girls and boys have decreased social contact compared to previous times when Chinese youth customarily enjoyed communication. This is because the communist party introduced commitments and personal bonds, which acted as a meaningful substitute for non-communist sympathizers (Fairbank et al 22)
Further, the aftermath of the communist revolution affected the way, in which the Chinese socially integrated with members of the outside world. As a result, there was the increased aggression and negative sentiments towards western tendencies. It is important to note that during the communist era there was a major drive to discourage western ideologies; hence, this aspect prominently featured in this society. The Centre for International Affairs et al asserts that the communist revolution had an impact on the unit of the people with the rest of the world. This implies that the communist revolution had a major impact on the manner, in which the locals responded to foreigners, especially those who were deemed to be coming from capitalist nations.
In addition to the above changes, the communist revolution inspired the development of a corporate family setup that was primarily based upon economic ties. This is because the society was structurally arranged in the way that it was perceived important to establish a family status quo depending on economic ties. This promoted inter-family rivalry led to the distribution of wealth along certain lineages. The fact is that China was a rapidly developing economy relied on the establishment of wide economic ties that spread across some families. This was primarily due to the onset of the communist revolution inspired the development of certain dynasties, in which wealth and social class revolved. The emergence of corporate families changed the social dimensions by creating distinct hierarchies of interaction. According to Blisten, family monopolies developed because of affiliations to positions of power, which were primarily based on inheritance (268). In this regard, inheritance was viewed as a primary factor of preserving wealth and trade within certain echelons of the society. This had a negative impact because it affected the normal distribution of wealth to other members of the society. This especially affected poor families in rural areas while middle class and average families living in urban areas enjoyed economic progression. Moreover, the establishment of hierarchies was based on maintaining common patterns of growth among members in the affiliate groups.
Furthermore, the after effect of the communist revolution led to the increase of the average family size because of the abandonment of birth control methods. This had a huge impact on the living arrangements of families because of the overstretched financial resources. In the post communist regime, the typical Chinese family did not earn high salaries; hence, this affected the level of provision of basic necessities. This was partly driven by the desire of the revolution to avail significant labor to the economic activities that the revolution needed to attain significant growth. The aftermath of the impact was the eventual occurrence of population increase per unit family.
The communist regime narrowed the barrier that initially existed between men and women in terms of participation in education, economic, and political domains (Huang 137). As a result, women were able to make better contribution to the entire economy similar to the men. This had a positive impact on the lives of women who were viewed to be economically disadvantaged because of the limited opportunities of integration into the overall society. For instance, women had less chances of practicing trade compared to men. This was a significant social development because it ensured that competition remained favorable between different genders. Increasing the participation in these areas also enabled the women to become more vocal in issues that affected them. Previously, the patriarchal nature of the society ensured that men got all the best opportunities while women got lesser opportunities, which widened the gap in terms of development. This was further enhanced through strategic legislative measures, which were introduced as measures to decrease the developmental barrier between men and women. The increasing number of women in domains such as labor implied that women working under various circumstances could meet to discuss issues that potentially affected their welfare. Thus, this further widened the social arena where women could meet to discuss and assess their development. Consequently, this enabled the women to come with better strategies of improving their participation in the public life.
Next, post communism initiated Cultural Revolution that was created to address some of the major cultural issues affecting China. This encouraged the development of a unique social situation whereby artists and intellectuals were relocated to the cities where their work was separated from the greater society, which lived in the countryside. This Cultural Revolution became a society discussion focusing on the inequalities existing between mental and manual labor, location factors such as city and countryside, industrial factors and gender. Artists, technical workers, doctors, scientific workers, and educated people were requested to coexist among workers and farm peasants (Gandhi 23). This was aimed at applying their skills to address the needs of society by sharing the daily lives of the laborers, exchanging knowledge, and learning from average people. In essence, large percentage of youth and members in the professional world answered Mao’s call to serve in the countryside.
After the occurrence of communism, artists took active participation in revolutionary movement, which entailed self-examination of individual works that focused on advancing revolution or downgrading it. This was an important development because art acquired a new dimension and established itself in the system as a mode of passing across information on important issues affecting people. More specifically, in the urban communities art became a sensation aspect of improving expression among people with an aim of sensitizing them. It also entailed viewing work in the setting of the revolution to create a new society. The Cultural Revolution aimed at fostering revolutionary art, which portrayed people based on the context while helping them to propel history in a forward manner. Nevertheless, the intense attention given to those works had a positive effect by resulting in more diversity in terms of artistic expression. We can establish a close relationship here in terms of creating works that were fine while mobilizing artists to lead and produce the highest levels of quality. The main focus was to expand the communication domain in society, where communication had been seriously affected by the limitations given to the media.
Also the revolution inspired the development of social integration among employees and their superiors in the work setting. Consequently, this led to the adoption of new models of management in the professional cycle, especially in the industrial entities of Shanghai. This was a critical developmental stage given the manner, in which the production cycle had changed gradually leading to the adoption of new professional models in work settings. As a result, new methods of factory organization were used to replace the single man management process, which had been adopted in the Soviet industry (Gandhi 25). This produced a two-tier system that encouraged participation among laborers and workers. The two tier system played a critical role in improving the interaction among professionals in the work setting. This is primarily because it enabled employees to interact closely with their employers. As a result, this increased the chances of establishing better outcomes in the work place. Traditionally, social integration in the workplace was limited and guided by certain defined parameters. Thus, during the communist regime guided by Mao Zedong, major changes were introduced in the structural framework of the workplace. It also inspired the developmental reforms at the society level by decreasing the need for major structural changes.
Moreover, the revolution led to the adoption of a new wave of socialism that focused on establishing a ruling class in the form of proletariat alliance, which discouraged peasantry as a preferred method of production whereby production addressed social needs by promoting production for private benefit. Hence, the new wave of socialism primarily concentrated on improving socioeconomic outcomes by leveling the distribution of income. This abolished the previous static social system that defined socialism less clearly. In essence, the previous social system limited the avenues, through which it was easier for people to establish production processes for personal gain. The Chinese society expanded to restrict economic, political, and social inequalities to the highest degree possible (Gandhi 24). Consequently, the communist system created a framework, through which exploitation of the system would be kept to a minimum. Thus, it would be necessary to establish whether the system was promoting mass participation, mass debate, and political passivity. This would provide a better way of establishing if there was meaningful social change taking place. The communist revolution also promoted mass campaigns combating the capitalist ideology while focusing on enhancing collective interest. The end of the regime also promoted national oppression while championing male supremacy. Additionally, it created political elite, where the working class and political leadership belonged to the specific communist party and state organs.
China developed into a modern society that practiced modified customs as opposed to those dating back in the old dynasties period. Here there was a critical element regarding the misogyny of women. This led to the decrease in Confucianism, according to which women were naturally irritable, envious, petty-minded, and immensely lower to men (Gandhi 23). The majority of scholars viewed the assets allocation criterion as being at the centre of this misogyny, but derogatory comments and behavior against girls and women of all classes were conspicuous. Women's human rights and freedoms significantly varied depending on the class. There was also arrival of Buddhism from India, changes in the system of beliefs cherished by Taoism, and changes to a medieval Chinese society that went through important transformations in the after the communist revolution. Nevertheless, there were still some people that were made to preserve some medieval elements.
In addition, the revolution had a significant impact on the traditional family life by incorporating strong family values. The man had absolute head of the family unit because communism promoted patriarchy. It also incorporated religion as a strong component of safeguarding the roles and rights of family members belonging to the family unit. This also stressed on the selection of marriage partners (Gandhi 26). The father became the sole decision maker, who was responsible for making major decisions at the family unit level. This included major aspects such as the selection of career choices by children belonging to the family. Communism also resulted in the creation of formal structures with clear guidelines chosen as critical elements of safeguarding the family from disintegrating.
The revolution resulted in new societal, psychological and cultural tendencies that were intended to promote the representation of females among members belonging to illiterate populations. In the pre-communism era some of the members of the Chinese society had neglected by segments of the society. Part of the changes also entailed establishment of son preference during birth and the assumption that there were major opportunity costs to raising a girl. Hence, there was a major preference for raising boys in the family because it was thought that their value will be higher because of remittances once they start working. Nevertheless, the revolution strived to discourage the development of inferiority complex among girls and women in the family unit. As such, their rights were also acknowledged.
Finally, it is vital to note that political principles and behavior are not shaped by objective institutional elements, but by the subjective practice by which citizens form views regarding these institutions. Since the direct exposure of most individuals to key revolutionary institutions is limited and periodic, a great deal of the procedure, through which people assess and respond to established institutions, is determined by various methods, which may perhaps also be created by the collective past. It has been observed that the most critical mediating factors of the revolution were the media, which determines how citizens receive information about political, social, and economic outputs. Therefore, the production of the media or the state of the nation is related to communist era practices, and then the manner, in which these factors mediate evaluations in communist legacies.
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