Folk beliefs of cultural changes in China
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For the last several decades, Chinese society has experienced transformative changes. How are these changes understood among Chinese people? To examine this question, Part 1 in this research solicited folk beliefs of cultural change from a group of Chinese participants in an open-ended format, and the generated folk beliefs were rated by another group of participants in Part 2 to gage each belief's level of agreement. Part 3 plotted the folk beliefs retained in Part 2 using the Google Ngram Viewer in order to infer the amount of intellectual interests that each belief has received cross-temporarily. These analyses suggested a few themes in Chinese folk beliefs of cultural change (1) rising perceived importance of materialism and individualism in understanding contemporary Chinese culture and Chinese psychology relative to those of the past (2) rising perceived importance of freedom, democracy and human rights and (3) enduring perceived importance of family relations and friendship as well as patriotism. Interestingly, findings from Parts 2 and 3 diverged somewhat, illuminating possible divergence between folk beliefs and intellectual interests especially for issues related to heritage of Confucianism.
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