China's Celebrity Mothers: Female Virtues, Patriotism and Social Harmony

Hong Kong University Press
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Celebrity in China, 2010, First, pp. 45 - 66
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This chapter assesses the utility of tbe 10 Outstanding Mothers campaign as a means to promote social cohesion not least because the Party-state has attached great importance to a new value structure in national integration. From the perspective of value theorists such as Chalmers Johnson (1966) and Talcott Parsons (1964), rhe concrete rules of behaviour attached to various social roles and the institutionalized norms that guide the allocation of roles are inspired and legitimized by the values of a social system, which must be transmitted to its members and transformed in response to changes in the society's environment. These theorists argue that norms are subject to frequent violations in societies where values are insecure as a result of social change. As socialized values diverge and the gap between values and the environment grows, integration becomes a more challenging task, requiring creative action by the state in order to resynchronize the values with the social environment (Johnson 1966: 43, 52-3). One of the principal straregies by which the state fulfils its integrative function is to mobilize social roles and institutions that perpetuate, assert or demonstrate the basic values of the system essential to its integration, and to appeal to conscience or invocate the moral standards of right and wrong (Parsons 1964: 42).
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