Sample Essay Paper on Chinese Society

Chinese Society


            China defines an independent state situated in the Eastern part of Asia, and it is commonly renowned for being the most populous nation in the world. With its jurisdiction running in more than twenty-two provinces, China is administered by the Communist Party whose seat of authority is in Beijing. The party also claims the few jurisdictions that are administered by a different political party that is commonly referred to as the Republic of China (Lisa, 2013). The history of the Chinese society can be traced from the early civilization, which is one of the oldest histories in the world. The nation has however been fractured and remolded severally, and hence the Chinese society is bound to be highly distinct compared to the way it was during the ancient civilization (Perry, 2003). The aim of this analysis is to understand the Chinese society. This paper draws relevant examples from renowned Chinese movies in order to help better understand the modern Chinese society.

Chinese Society

            The Chinese society has a unique character, which makes life in most Chinese cities to be distinct compared to cities in other developing societies. A huge number of people working in industrial units and offices characterize the Chinese society. Such individuals enjoy a significant degree of job security, but they receive relatively low wages. Chances for bonuses and promotions are relatively low, which limits workers’ opportunity to receive any wage increment as this can only be obtained as one climbs the seniority ladder. This causes most people to receive a small amount of income that may not be sufficient to support their families (Rong, 2013). A suitable example relating to people employment status within the Chinese society can be drawn from the Still Life Movie, which shows that most people work in industrial units. Han Sanming, for example, works in the mining industry and is later introduced by his friend into the construction industry. Most of his friends and colleagues vow to follow him upon his return to the mining industry, which exhibits industrial units as a common working place for most people in the society.

The financial constraints perpetuated by low income, limited promotional, and employment opportunities have seen most people living in abject poverty in China. A suitable example of this aspect of the Chinese society can be drawn from a renowned film, Betelnut. The film features two characters that live in abject poverty in the rural region where they spend most of their time idling along a riverbank. They steal from other people and engage in physical fight, which causes them to encounter wild experiences of life. There are limited opportunities to generate any significant income in rural China; hence, most people move to the urban region where they can secure some form of employment (Lisa, 2013). As exhibited in Betelnut, most people in the rural Chinese Society spend most of the time idling around and can only pass time on local internet and cinema. Those that can manage to secure some form of employment are only able to work in small-scale industrial activities that include landscape painting.

Chinese society is further characterized by significant distinction between the urban and rural populace. While rural citizens are mainly concerned about taking care of their families, their urban counterparts are mainly wage earners who seek for employment opportunities to be able to cater for their housing and retirement security as well as improve their life statuses. Except for a few individuals that may have secured employment in the service sector, most urban workers do not combine the responsibility to generate income with taking care of their families. This explains why most urban workers get detached from their families and even engage in extramarital affairs with members of a similar class (Rong, 2013). A suitable example of this aspect of life in Chinese society can be drawn from the film, Still Life, in which most people have moved away from their families to work in the urban area. Guo Bin is an example of a character that moves away from his family to seek for a suitable source of income. He keeps limited contact with his family even though he eventually becomes a successful businessperson. He particularly gets involved with his wealthy investor, which helps to meet his desire to climb up the social ladder.

Families in Chinese society do not play any significant function in marriage choices, as the family unit itself does not attribute to long-term stability and advantage to its members. Marriage in cities is thus highly dependent on economic factors, as only those having professional jobs are believed to have the freedom to engage in romantic relationships of their choice to be considered as full members of the society. This explains why most people in urban Chinese society engage in extra marital affairs without necessarily seeking the consent of their partners provided they have professional jobs (Perry, 2003). A suitable example of this aspect of life in Chinese society can be drawn from the film, Cell Phone, which features Yan Shouyi as a character that is involved in an extramarital relationship. He lies to his wife that has a business meeting any time he wishes to spend time with his mistress, which limits the wife’s capacity to discover this relationship.


            Chinese society has unique attributes that are distinct from those exhibited by other developing world societies. The society is characterized by high job security, low wages and limited opportunities for promotion and wage increment. A relevant example for this unique aspect of life in Chinese society can be derived from the still life film, which shows how Han Sanming and his colleagues shift from one type of industrial job to the other, hence proving that there are no rewards that can motivate employees to stick in one industry. Rural folks experience severe poverty statuses while urban folks receive low income that may not be sufficient in catering for their families. Betelnut provides a suitable example of this aspect of life in Chinese society as poor individuals like the two characters in the film, Ali and Xiao, spend most of their time idling along a river bank for lack of employment. Most people work in industrial units and not in offices and service sectors. Family units lack autonomy to make marriage choices, and this attributes to cases of infidelity particularly among professional workers. An example of this aspect of life is exhibited in still life and cell phone where major characters leave their marriage partners behind to seek for employment in cities and subsequently get involved in extramarital affairs without their partners’ consent.










Lisa, H. (2013). iChina: The Rise of the Individual in Modern Chinese Society, The China Journal, 69:210-234.

Perry, E. (2003). Chinese Society: Change, Conflict and Resistance, New York: Routledge.

Rong, M. (2013). A Han vs. Minorities Dual Structure of Chinese Society, China: An International Journal, 11(2),12