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Understanding Cultures: Modern China

Understanding Cultures: Modern China (UCMC)

Textbook Reading Summary #3



China in the 21st Century (C21C)

  • Chapter 3, Revolutions and Revolutionaries (Page 50 to Page 63)
  • Chapter 4, From Mao to Now

China in Transition (CIT)

  • Chapter 9, The War Against China
  • Chapter 10, Postwar China, the Civil War
  • Chapter 11, Aspects of Social Change
  • Chapter 12, Education and the Student Movement



  • When grading, the instructor takes into account a) the limited nature of the content provided in response to some of the questions, as well as b) the limited nature of the historical context provided the students via the textbooks chosen (they are not historically comprehensive). Make a good-faith effort to completely answer the questions to the best of your ability using what you have. The instructor is looking for students’ analysis, summation, assessment, and interpretation via their own words – mastery of the content at our introductory level is not expected!
  • The depth & detail provided by the texts/assigned readings may be limited or narrow. Thus, assignments are expected to be based upon the given readings and not dependent upon outside sources in order to “bulk up” what is submitted.
  • Attention should be given to answering a question clearly & accurately, as opposed to at great length simply to fill space!
  • Emphasis when grading will be placed upon: the student’s demonstration of understanding, the clarity of arguments, the use of evidence/details to support conclusions, the use of his/her own words.
  • Submissions should address the “bigger picture” of key events, developments, and individuals, and place those in the context of China’s modern development.
  • Students should not obsess over length; rather, concentrate on providing a clear and thorough explanation that addresses the question being asked.
  • Be sure to write in complete sentences, following proper grammar and punctuation rules. Attention to the spelling of proper names, locations, etc., is important; such accuracy demonstrates a respect for other people, their history, and their culture.
  • ANY AND ALL FORMS OF PLAIGARISM WILL EARN A ZERO! (If you need to take limited and specific wording from the text, please quote it as a means of demonstrating someone else’s authorship.)



  • If a student has ANY questions about the content of ANY assigned reading (the material is confusing, contradicts what was discussed in class, etc.,) contact the instructor ASAP
  • Use the Drop Box to submit the assignment
  • All projects must be handed in by 11 p.m. on the due date assigned via the Calendar in order to be counted as in “’on-time”
  • Students can submit their work for instructor comments before their final submission. However, this MUST be done 1) via e-mail & 2) within enough time for the instructor to review the assessment and return it (e.g. NOT the day before the work is due)



China in the 21st Century (C21C)

  1. Summarize the key campaigns undertaken by the Chinese Communist regime to control, influence, or limit speech, thought, written expression, etc. – as well as foster control and conformity amongst the population.
  2. Has Mao has been subject to criticism in his own country, or even in his own party, for his actions? Explain.
  3. What was the significance of the Great Leap Forward and the Gang of Four?
  4. Explain the significance of Deng Xiaoping in terms of China’s dramatic changes and recent economic development?
  5. What was important about Tiananmen Square and how China’s government dealt with it?
  6. Summarize the 2008 Olympic Games in China: why were the Games important? How did China prepare for and handle the event?


China in Transition (CIT)

  1. Highlight, in your opinion, some of the key elements of the fighting between China and Japan during World War II.
  2. Explain the nature of the Chinese Communist Party victory after the Chinese Civil War.
  3. Summarize some of the key changes related to the status and treatment of women in Chinese society from 1900-1949.
  4. What changes took place in the Chinese educational system under Communist rule?
  5. What was the “Student Movement” as it was promoted by the Chinese Communist regime?



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