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Chapter Summary

The rapid social changes of modern China, in particular the Reform and Opening of the past thirty years, have given a bountiful cache of experiences with which investigation can be made on the relationship between cultural and social transformations. A social life is the sum of an individuals' activities as conditioned by cultural norms and institutional structure, which in turn are regulated according to certain rules. These restrictions on social life appear as the external restraints of laws, regulations, public opinion, customs, and norms. "Doctrines underlying fundamental social arrangements" are the focus of discursive struggle during transformations. With the Reform and Opening, Chinese society entered a course of rapid change, which can be traced back to the mid-19th century. The root cause of the Cultural Revolution lies in the dual character of political power in China after the success of the revolution in 1949.

Keywords: Chinese society; cultural revolution; social life



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