Changing Social Attitudes in China in Transition (2005-2015)

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.3, 2018


Changing Social Attitudes in China in Transition (2005-2015)



Li Lulu and Wang Peng


We use CGSS comparative data for 2005 and 2015 to explore the changing situation and trends in Chinese social attitudes this century along the dimensions of cognition, affective evaluation and behavioral tendencies by employing the three hypotheses of consistency, disequilibrium and polarization as analytical tools. Our findings show that Chinese social attitudes as a whole tend toward greater consistency. In terms of self-cognition, there is a marked rise in subjective wellbeing and a decrease in inter-group differences; in terms of affective evaluation, sense of social morality and satisfaction with government are increasing; and in terms of behavioral tendencies, the public’s political participation and behavioral openness have improved. Polarization of social attitudes has not occurred in China. The trend toward consistency is accompanied by changes in the differentiation of social attitudes due to the influence of various social factors.