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Self-assurance and self-denial: repositioning the individual in contemporary Chinese society

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

This articlue argues that traditional Chinese society was characterized by a "part-whole structure" in which the value of an individual was measured by his value for society. In Europe, starting from the middle of the 15th century, a society that is characterized by a "many-one structure" developed. In such a society, an individual freely chooses with which organizations he or she associates. Man became seen as a creative actor in history, and personal freedom was understood to be the necessary requisite to act creatively. Along with the development of capitalism, contemporary Chinese society witnessed a shift from the traditional "part-whole structure" to the "many-one structure". Integrating the opinion of personal informants and of online and other popular writers, this article investigates the changing position of the individual in contemporary Chinese society.
ISSN: 0352-7875
Issue: 1
Volume: 57
Pages: 123 - 141
Authors from:Higher Education