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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Ambitious Survey Offers Window Into Chinese Society
28 March 2011 10:55 am
Results just in from a pathbreaking survey reveal a wealth of information about everything from economic behavior to happiness in China.
Last April, interviewers with the 2010 Chinese Family Panel Studies survey dispersed across the nation to survey 14,865 households—a total that makes the study the largest of its kind in the developing world. Peking University's Institute of Social Science Survey (ISSS) has published a summary of the initial findings in Chinese. Two results are in keeping with a rapidly changing society: 10% of surveyed couples lived together before marriage, and the length of time couples stay married has been steadily decreasing. (China's overall divorce rate remains low at 3%.)
One unexpected result was that when asked to rank aspects of their life as important, a large proportion of Chinese cite family first. The share of people who list individual success as a primary driver lags far behind—a sign that development hasn't eroded traditional values as much as is sometimes believed in China. "That really surprised me," says ISSS Director Qiu Zeqi. "Modernization has led people in China to be individually driven. But still they focus on their families."
Elsewhere the picture is one of economic progress. Fully 84% of respondents own their own house or apartment. And expectations for the future are high: the vast majority of Chinese parents hope their children will go on to university, with 20% aspiring for them to earn Ph.D.s. All told, 57% of Chinese are optimistic about the future. The rural-urban divide had very little effect on an individual's expectations, with rural residents just as optimistic as urban Chinese.
The survey datasets are restricted for the year following publication. They will be made available to the scientific community at large on the ISSS Web site in 2012. Datasets will be translated into English at that time.