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China’s New 21st-Century Realities

Social Equity in a Time of Change


Edited By Richard Greggory Johnson III

China’s New 21 st -Century Realities: Social Equity in a Time of Change examines the new social justice realities in China. Often when people think of China they think of a very rigid, patriarchal society where oppression is the order of the day. However, this book aims to debunk some of those preconceived notions by addressing issues such as single men living in rural China, professional women in politics, and the baggage that comes with being considered an outsider. The book looks at China through a critical social justice prism that has seldom been used before. Contributors also take on race and ethnicity as a means to understanding that China, like many nations in the world, is becoming increasingly diverse in many areas including religion and gender roles. This book is a must read for anyone that is truly interested in unlearning what they believe they know about human rights in China.


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Chapter Seven: Finding a Place to Belong: China’s Rural Bachelors


i n t r o d u c t i o n When I was asked to think about the human affairs issues in China, I was enthused because I continue to see China as a mysterious and exciting place. I have visited China on two separate occasions as well as other Asian countries, but to get spe- cific for such a vast country with many different regions and sub-cultures is chal- lenging. Then I remembered the old saying—write about what you know or sense. Therefore, I return in this chapter to the global challenge of gender, gender roles, the family, and social implications. It seems wherever I travel, there is the apparent noticeable issue of young men on city streets. I make no assumption about this except they seem to be displaced, loitering, or just passing the time away. It causes me to reflect on the issues of how they make meaning out of their lives and what is their sense of belonging in a family, a community, and in the world? I have visited China on two different occasions. I have also learned about China through various outlets, from television to newspapers. In addition, I have Chinese friends and have had the pleasure of teaching, and learning from, Chinese students. As I engage with late adolescents and young adults, I often ask about social life issues or concerns. Dating always comes up. Responses from the male students are that they will not get married until they can...

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