Chinese Politics Reading Notes.docx

Political culture can also be divided vertically from

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Political culture can also be divided vertically from bottom up into the three levels of the subconscious, the conscious-unsystematic, and the conscious-systematic. At the deepest level of political consciousness, people can have political attitudes without realizing them. At the conscious-unsystematic level, people can have unorganized, sometimes inconsistent political attitudes. Political culture at this level is close to public opinion At the conscious-sysmatic level, people can have very systematic understanding of the political system Often called political ideology From a historical perspective, the western methodological approaches to Chinese political culture studies can be put into the two general categories of positivism and hermeneutics China until two decades ago was closed off from the outside world Impossible to do civic culture type surveys in china China lacked the resources as well as the technology to do massive public opinion surveys Three major divisions of Chinese political culture: Confucian Maoist Reformed Two political cultures: Ruling elites That of the masses Horizontal division of the cognitive, the affective, the evaluative, and the vertical division of the subconscious, the conscious-unsystematic, and the conscious-systematic Chinese cognition about political systems has always been difficult to measure In Maoist China, people were required to spend a lot more time studying national politics than were Westerners. In the West, dissatisfaction with the government is reflected through demonstrations, the media, and elections, and researchers can rely on such tools as surveys to measure the level of popular satisfaction/dissatisfaction In the East for many years open criticism of the regime was difficult, resulting in more subtle forms of indirect criticism like through the film Farewell, My Concubine In the West, people’s disgust with politics is reflected in lower voter turnout, demonstrations, and media criticism In China, official media are unlikely to carry negative viewpoints Because of China’s rich cultural tradition, hermeneutics is especially useful as a tool to understand the subconscious dimension of Chinese political culture Traditionally, China does not have a dominant religion. Indoctrination has to rely on an official ideology, the family, and literature. For this reason, literature is more important for the Chinese than for citizens of any other country. In the West, where the christian church traditionally is the main agent for remodeling people’s consciousness, ideological indoctrination through arts and literature is not as strong as in China
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The Chinese political ideologies are so developed that their structures can be more easily seen than those of other societies.
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