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China 88: The Real China and How to Deal with It by Phillip Day, Zhijian Wu, Andrew Delios

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Chapter 3. Social Change

Change. Constant, top-to-bottom, social, economic and profound change. For the last century, and especially the last 50 years, China has been all about change. Rather than settling down, in the last 30 years change has speeded up even more. In 1980 GDP per capita was about $500. By 2010, it was more than $4,000.

Social change has been even more drastic. Entire belief systems have been altered by the change that has swept back and forth across China, leaving values and individual behaviors under constant alteration. An average Chinese citizen has seen more change packed into his lifetime than 10 generations of his ancestors prior to 1900.

Much of these changes have been state-directed or at least accepted by the state. ...

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