Puberty and Adolescence

Adolescence (nianqing) is regarded as a youth stage. This stage is between early teen years and extends to the mid-twenties. There are three paths of socialization into adulthood. In the countryside the most common is learning how to farm (Chau, n.d.). Some young women might be able to marry into a wealthier home. If not they marry locally and prepare for a life of farming. The second path is to receive schooling and then obtain a state-assigned job. Girls and boys are sent to primary school in equal numbers, but middle school, which is more expensive, usually finds parents investing more in their son's education. In addition, education investment seldom pays. It is more difficult for rural residents to obtain nonfarm employment. The third path is to run a business or to seek employment in the service sector (Chau, n.d.). For rural residents this means leaving the village to work in small township or moving a great distance to nearby cities.

For urbanites there are only two paths.Most prefer to attend primary and middle school and then be assigned to a state enterprise corporation. The college educated prefer to obtain employment as a manager in an international firm.

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