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China’s New 21st-Century Realities

Social Equity in a Time of Change

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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 Nine: Climbing a Slippery Social Ladder: Prevailing Perspectives of Chinese Students About Gaokao

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c h a p t e r n i n e Climbing a Slippery Social Ladder: Prevailing Perspectives of Chinese Students About Gaokao efleda tolentino & zhenting wu i n t r o d u c t i o n Education is the foundation of a nation, especially in a developing country such as China. We have free compulsory education for 9 years followed by 3 years of high school. After 12 years of school, students take Gaokao, a national college entrance examination that is held once a year in June. One reason why Gaokao is considered the most important part of the educational process is because the score that is earned becomes the sole standard for students’ admission into the university. Stu- dents can retake the Gaokao to improve their score but they would have to wait a whole year. One year means a lot for a student who is just 18 years old. Every family member hopes their child gets a high score in the college entry test. A good score means a good future (Zhenting Wu). This year, more than 9 million graduating high school students took the Gaokao, China’s national college entrance examination. Among the 9 million aspirants, only 7 million will earn a place in universities and colleges. Two million, however, will not have the opportunity to enroll in a university (Speakman, 2014). Within the context of education, Gaokao is considered a testing tool that will determine one’s eligibility for college. It is also considered a...

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