Chinese culture and philosophy is based in the three religions of Daoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. . Daoism emphasized harmonious living with nature as the model. Many Buddhist principles reinforce Daoist ideas. The principles of social and family life are found in Confucianism. Thus Chinese culture is practical in nature and based on a concern for the ideal way of life. Harmony and the interweaving of natural, supernatural and human continue to form the structure of family and society.

Since earliest times, some form of hierarchy and social stratification has existed in Chinese culture and society. Later, the Chinese adopted the teachings of Confucius, resulting in a socio-economic class structure known as the four occupations. These occupations were the gentry-scholars, the artisans, the peasant farmers, and the merchants.

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