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The Difference between Rural and Urban China by Wright

Wright (2003) looks at three generations of a Chinese Village and indicates the irony of the Rural Revolution by pointing out the differences between life in the urban areas and the village. According to Buoye (2002), the gap is larger today than at the start of the revolution. Wright vividly narrates rural life in Guizhou Province and the difficulties needy families face. The irony is seen in the differences in customs and living standards in urban and rural areas. Despite the rural revolution starting from the village, the areas have lagged behind with urban areas having better and improved living standards. Ironically, the rural areas have remained poor, as portrayed by Wright (2003), and it is difficult for children to get a decent education.

The Issue of Divorce

Zhang’s (1989) article is a portrayal of the quest for happiness as opposed to staying in the marriage. Thus, Southwell-Lee (2013) points out that much has changed in society with the changing status of women. During the 80s and 90s, people choose personal happiness, especially for high-income women. The article points to how women always faced the question of why they were not divorced since they were surrounded by many divorcees. The report further notes the changes in financial ability as one of the sources that led to divorces during the time. Primarily, people preferred singlehood. The question in the article on divorce tries to examine reasons for staying in marriages since being divorced was seen as a quest for personal happiness. In essence, at that time divorce was a popular initiative even in the media.


Buoye, T. M. (2002). China: adapting the past, confronting the future. University of Michigan Press.

Southwell-Lee, M. (2013). Women with Money, Women with Minds: Social Status, Gender and Marriage Choices among Elite Urban Women in Contemporary China.

Wright, D.B. (2003). The Promise of the Revolution: Stories of Fulfillment and Struggle in China’s Hinterland. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Zhang, X (1989), ‘”How Come You Aren’t Divorced Yet?”‘, in Perry Link, Richard Madsen, and Paul G. Pickowicz (eds.), Unofficial China: Popular Culture and Thought in the People’s Republic(Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press), 57-71.




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