The economic opening of China promoted a set of transformations that restructured the molds of its society. Far from Mao Zedong's planning ideal, China today has a huge middle class. Ranging in a population that hovers around 100 to 150 million individuals, this middle class shares common achievements like car, house, vacation and electronics. In certain terms, it marks the rupture of a State still known for its interventionist character.
The creation of such a large socioeconomic class created a great generation gap and undermined the subservient culture of Chinese society. Members of this class are able to notice the contradictions of their political regime. They welcome material gains and, at the same time, weave tenacious criticisms against the authoritarian permanences of the state. Living very recently, these changes do not mobilize large opposition movements to the government.
The adult generation that lived through the time of these transformations is still not able to faithfully integrate into the movement of changes. In the media, several situations reported do not do justice to a country where previously the fate of social groups was perfectly described by the rigidity of the social roles played by each. individual. There is talk about the Americanization of the name of newborns, the consumption of books with topics that were once prohibited, and eating disorders among vain young people.
Another interesting development can be seen in the relationship between parents and children. The generation of parents in today's China bears notorious contradictions. While they are impressed with the values shared by their children, they do not envision another kind of life for outside the requirements of an education system that preaches constant improvement and competition among the best prepared. China lays the foundations for a social context disjointed with its lack of freedom of opinion and political participation.
It would be difficult to say whether future generations in this country would engage in a movement of political transformation. Individualism, competitiveness and material comfort do not allow us to glimpse the unleashing of a wave of protests or situations of conflict in favor of the expansion of civil liberties and the liberation of the political system. At the same time, the values that guarantee such authoritarian traits to China seem to be threatened by a new generation used to family ties and cultural capital far from the molds conservatives.
By Rainer Sousa
Graduated in History
Source: Brazil School - https://brasilescola.uol.com.br/china/a-classe-media-chinesa.htm