Shanghai’s S white-collar workers often exhibit behaviors of “Strong Political Orientation” and “Weak Political Participation”
“Strong Political Orientation ” and “Weak Political Participation ”
This group is largely a beneficiary of China’s reform and opening up. They have benefited from the urban economic reforms that began in the late 1980s, which have provided beneficial professional education opportunities and resources created by industrial strategy adjustment and economic development, and the group has obtained relatively substantial professional identities with higher market returns. A considerable number of them have expressed satisfaction with the current level of living that they obtain through their own personal efforts, and believe that they can continue to work hard to further improve their quality of life.12 It is in this case that the Shanghai's white-collar workers have realized how political stability is the basic guarantee for the country's prosperity and an important guarantee for their continued development. They have an expectation of "stable social environment” and "good national development prospects”. Therefore, once they perceive or anticipate that the social living environment faces challenges or that national security is threatened, they will pay special attention to these issues. Some members of this group will even spontaneously express strong reactions in relation to these issues. This is evident in the “China-US hacker war”13 after the Sino-US plane collision incident in 2001. and the “4T6 Japan-related parade” in which some white-collar workers participated in Shanghai in 2005.
On the one hand, the Shanghai's white-collar group has its own “strong political orientation”, while on the other hand it always maintains a "weak political participation”. This kind of "weak political participation” usually manifests as a collective indifference to mainstream political discourse and dissemination, a weak concern for some major political events, and an "indifferent” attitude toward political identity. Shanghai's S white-collar workers are professional classes that emerged during a transition of the economic system. They have a natural affinity for the market economy. They focus on technical perfection, personal career advancement, and leisure activities. They gradually develop an instrumental "calculating” ability, and pay an increasing amount of attention to the trade-offs between their own output and gain. Their favorite reading materials generally include professional magazines as well as fashion and consumer publications. Many of them are not familiar with the mechanisms of operation for social organizations and modes of thinking from the past. From the beginning, they have always been existing in a newer version of social life and have not yet established their own ideological "home”.