Phase 3: Interpreting Information

Updated 1 year 1 month ago

Overview of my Inquiry Project Journey:
This is Phase 3 of my inquiry project journey which is after Phase 2.  Previously in Phase 0, I have chosen and created my three top choices and narrowed it down to Wealth and Money. In Phase 1, I wrote about the background information about my inquiry project and what I want to learn about the topic. I also have created questions to ask the villagers. In Phase 2, I will ask experts to comment on my work and why is the information valid. Last of all, in this Phase, I will be gathering information about my inquiry project. 

Background information (from Phase 1):

Communism effects wealth and money in China:

Communism is a government system where the state controls the land, property and economic activities. It benefits the lower class citizens' lives. The lower class citizens are referred as "proletariat" and the wealthy class citizens are called "bourgeoisie". The communism's goal is to create a society where everyone is equal and there are no wealth class involved. The proletariat wants to elimate the bourgeoisie because that they want to rule the country with communism.

Communism follow these five main principles: (No countries have successfully followed these principles)

  1. Owns all businesses and controls economy which includes the wages, workers and more.
  2. There is no real estate state which means that the land is shared in the society and owned by the government. 
  3. Controls the wages and pays the same wage to everyone. 
  4. Social Welfare benefits such as education, healthcare and retirement pensions are all free to citizens. 
  5. Totalitarian regimes which limit political expression or speech. Some government would limit religion or religious practices.

On 1949 In China, they created Maoism where they have successfully defeated the government and communism were installed. Even though they have defeated the government, the bourgeoisie were still rebelling. The government decided to create a campaign known as the Cultural Revolution where they arrested thousands of citizens.[1]This has cost the Yin, Yang, Yan, Dongs' family losing their wealth and money in Xi Zhou.[3]After Mao's death, the next leader, Deng Xiaoping, were more focused on political issues, and allowed economic freedom, including ownership of private property and the creation of wealthy classes. [1]

China's Economic Growth to the Twenty-First Century: 

Deng Xiao Ping was president from the year 1977 to 1989 where he opened China to international trade and domestic economy.[5]China's GDP had an increased of 2,152 USD throughout the years. [7]The communist party also created a five year plan where it disscuss about the principles of Chinese socialism, enconmic devolpments, and launching reform. The picture below explains the most current five year plan which is the thirteen five year plan. [6,8]

Picture located within this link

Psychology of Wealth:

Psychology of wealth is usually taught within the family environment where it is the operating system of people's belief, values and more. Leticia's family is mexican american and was not a wealthy family. Through her family's lessons and values, she had learned the mindset of wealth. The values that are achieved in a mindset of wealth are achievement, inner strength and self confidence.  Leticia recalls some of the lessons where has learned from her dad that taught her these values.  One of the lessons was when an adult has praised her by saying "What a pretty girl, her dad would always respond "She is first in her class". She learned that it is not how you look; it's what is in your brain. Through this lesson she learned these three values and used it throughout her life which was a big factor to her success. Leticia later becomed the first women to get in the position of  the Texas house of represenative. Leticia were asked to define wealth and she defined it as a rich and rewarding life for me.

The lack of psychology has created many rich citizens to lose their wealth. This can be seen when nearly one-third of lottery winners lose all their money.  This is because the lottery winners who are unhappy about their wealth before the lottery were more likely to lose all their money. They would be unhappy because of the lack of money and the lack of the three values. When they win the lottery, they would go into a perfect thinking where they would want to buy more. They end up losing everything. 

There is no formula to become rich, so therefore there is no definition of wealth, it varies from person to person. [2] Tony Cupisx, the cofounder of LKN communication inc. company, [2,4] who defines wealth as being a hundred percent gratitude of anything good you have. Tony is raised with many childhood challenges because he did not have lots of money but he did not believe in the word "poor". He believed that if your perception and belief said that you are poor, then you will have a poor state of mind. It matter what you will believe in because your actions will follow. Bruce Lipton who has a Ph.D has demostrated that our thoughts are seventy percent or more harmful and redundant which would affect the mindset of everyone. 

Tony also learned that life would always have obstacles and if you want prosperity then you will have to keep moving and have passion of what you do. He also found out that senior executives or any jobs that contains high salaries includes two types of people who are diven by the love and gratitude of job or driven by fear that they will lose everything. These are two differnet views of wealth, sucess and prosperity. Tony also had said that people wants more than money, they want to be wealthy in love, friendship and family. You cannot use money to buy love, friendship or family, you will have to earn it. The formula and the definiton of wealth is at your own controls, but every successful person would have these three values: inner strength, achievement and self confidence. [2]

Information from 3-to-5 

Ms. Qi:

In our conversation, Ms. Qi mentioned that most of the villagers do not mind if I ask them about how much they earn. [9]

Mr. Tafel:

Mr. Tafel mentioned that Mr. Yin, the cheese factory is one of the four wealthy families before the cultural revolution. During the cultural revolution, they kept one-fourth of their homes because of their calligraphy works.  Mr. Tafel also mentioned that religious leaders like Mr.Huang would have a different view of this inquiry topic. [3]

Information From Local Contacts:

*()=this means that it is my thinking 

(Private businesses)

Mrs. Yin: [10]

  • During the cultural revolution:
  • She was very little when the cultural revolution happen and only heard what happened from her parents
  • Mr.Yin's ancestors has to share the house with other people
  • this had led to the reason why nowaday she has to share a house with someone who has the same business as she
  • Some living evidence of the cultural revolution in Mr. Yin's house:
  • is a door where there are very few marks of the beautiful carving that was destroyed
  • many pieces of a door fallen out 
  • Job: 
  • sold cheese from her cow and tie dye cloth
  • most happy in her job when she is feeding the cow and making cheese
  • money she gets depends on her customers
  • Personal Thoughts:
  • She prefers wearing stylish fashion clothes as today she wear a pink jacket and this stylish dark blue bag. 

Mr. Yin:  [11]

  • History:
  • very little when the cultural revolution happen,
  • so if I want to discuss about cultural revolution I will have to talk to the elderly people.
  • His house is from his ancestors who was the first group of people who went to Xizhou and the Han dynasty.  
  • lived 40 years in this house
  • Personal Thoughts: 
  • Would prefer objects that improve their status if can afford
  • Advice to younger generation: work hard to improve your wealth 
  • may work in cities if high income than Xizhou
  • would be happy if has lots of wealth
  • sort of happy with his job 

Dealer who sell silver:

  • In wealthy products- people (locals and tourists) 
  • special ocasions (wedding, birth of a child)


  • pay 10 rmb and can earn 35.8 yi
  • I have seen someone earn 10 rmb when payed for 5rmb 
  • they can also earn 30,000 by pay ing 3 rmb


Observing the Mosque:

  • Leader and Followers:  
  • Mr. Huang is the leader of the Hui people (people who believe in Islam)
  • around ten percent of Xizhou citizens are Bai people [3]
  • Mr.Huang has lots of power and status in the mosque because of his education and Arabic language 
  • respect Mr.Huang and Allah 
  • Earning wealth by being religious:
  • yearly Muslims will donate money to the poor or mosque 
  • Sometimes the donation will go to the leader of the mosque 
  • Possible reasons to choose the Islam religion:[12]
  • believing that they can go to heaven (Jannah) where they will receive more wealth and better status when they believe Allah 
  • believes that this life is just a test, so they can go to heaven or hell (Jannahnam)
  • hell is given with the people who do not believe Allah or cause mischief

(Antique Dealer)



  • 4 big families' business:
  • clothes 
  • umbrella
  • matches
  • tea
  • medicine rocks
  • medicine
  • house construction 
  • bracelet 


  • Nowadays 4 big families houses: 
  • Huo Xing Ruan
  • Bao Cheng Fu 
  • Yan Bao Cai 
  • (does not know 4th one)
  • Personal opinion:
  • wealth is now like a race 
  • you are considered wealthy when you earn at least a million RMB 
  • gov. want to balance the wealth
  • income is too high or too low 
  • lots of people who are poor 
  • very little people who are rich
  • very difficult for not wealthy people to become wealthy
  • Reason: Less opportunities, people will see you as not wealthy because of your family status 
  • even if you work hard and have inner qualities, not see you as wealthy

Past and Present 

  • Actions that Wealthy People Do: 
  • build a house 
  • employ people 
  • Inner qualities to become wealthy:
  • Preservarence- 
  • ex: swim from north side of Lake Er Hai to the south Side of Lake er Hai, need to preserve to finish swimming
  • Confidence- 
  • ex: to believe that I can swim from one side to the other
  • quality of education
  • skills 
  • mostly inner qualities to become wealthy, but could be some outer qualities (gender)
  • Personal opinion:
  • wealthy people would not necessary buy large antique than small antique
  • not as wealthy people would still buy antique because of having a piece of history 
  • People would buy antique with their own interest
  • Stories about earning wealth from antique:
  • 1. guy bought an antique for tens thousand 
  • later sold it for hundred thousands 
  • 2. placing the artifact as a museum
  • Below the ice berg
  • wealth and status is not something that can be calculated 
  • it is where other people define you as 
  • the definition is different for everyone but is define some way like how much money you earn
  • status is involved in money but could be doing something very well 
  • Lottery
  • played for 1-2 hours 
  • personally get more than 100, 200 *(when I asked )
  • 12 years ago earned lots of money
  • plays by himself 
  • usually play during after lunch time 
  • plays for fun and for money

Ms. Yang[14]

  • Personal opinion and life: 
  • never met anyone who is wealthy *(shows that there are not wealthy families in Xizhou)
  • some wealthy families would have objects that improve their status and some wealthy families would no't * (I did not expect this answer)
  • she would not respect the wealthy people differently 
  • 1 customers or none per day 
  • Wealthy Objects: 
  • bowl- cost 300 RMB 
  • she has said that anyone could buy *( I think only middle class above would buy)
  • ming dynasty 
  • bed- gold markings *(This is definitely the wealthy family)
  • bought it in the countryside 
  • ming dynasty 

(elderly people)

Mr. Wang [20]

  • past:
  • needed tickets to buy clothes, food and other daily objects 

Mr. Yang [15]

  • past years- age of business and earning money 
  • used to be called "small shanghai"
  • recent years- age of education where the poor would put lots of effort to let their next generation live in cities

Mr. Dong [16]

  • traveled to Shanghai, Nanjing and the major big cities 
  • stayed for shanghai for 3 days 
  • did not like major cities at all
  • only sights- tall buildings 
  • living conditions too expensive 
  • many students from Xizhou would go to cities to work 
  • some may even go aboard to America or other countries 
  • some people did not have a long life because they learn too hard
  • when i said "I am learning wealth and money" he joked about it

Elderly Ladies[17]

  • Past:
  • during the cultural revolution 
  • only get 1 RMB to 3 RMB  
  • life condition is very hard 
  • work in the fields
  • feel like our life is very happy and lucky 
  • Present: 
  • Xizhou living condition improved 
  • very happy with right now 
  • wealthy in a way that life is more peaceful, healthy and more 

(Immigrants who open their own company)

Ms. Yang[18]

  • worked in Xizhou for 3 years 
  • from a big city traveled to Xizhou *(shows that she prefers places that are much other values than wealthy like quiet friendly than places that can give her higher opportunities to become wealthy)

Mr. Qiu [19]*(After all my interviews, I found out that I speak better with the male gender than female gender)

  • life is more than wealth 
  • we do not need too much- only objects to survive (food, shelter)
  • I like quiet and nature
  • sometimes even 1 month do not open business 
  • like to balance job and play 
  • open shop for 10 years and only worked for 8 years 
  • may decide to leave Xizhou as there are going to be more crowded because of tourists 
  • Hobbies: read, fishing, hiking... 
  • people would want wealth because they want too much- which they do not need and that does not mean their lives will get any better
  • usually, the reason of having wealth is for themselves not for others *(I asked if they want wealth because so they can show off to other people and he said it is only some people but not all.)


Ms. Zhao

  • history: status- wealthy, contribution to Xizhou, job position, and family name
  • present: status- wealthy
  • before 1945 (liberation) wealthy ppl: there is 4 big families, 8 big families and 12 families, government people 
  • government people: take a test to be qualified to work in the government 
  • bao cheng fu (one of the four big paintings) used to be a house for soldiers to live in 
  • bao cheng fu have blue ink that is still very clear from germany likely before WWI
  • wealthy people would go to the city for more opportunities to become wealthy than before in the villagers
  • nowadays Xizhou citizens are normal or below the wealth line 
  • we can tell the huge gap from citly income and village income 
  • overall the living standards in Xizhou improved since the past

Ms. Song

  • I do not need to be wealthy but just enjoy my life 
  • like so wealthy that I can skip few years to not work 

Answers to Previous Questions (from Phase 1 ) :

1. Looking back at history, did the Cultural Revolution affect the citizens' wealth, money and ideas about status?

Looking back at history, How did the Mao years affect the citizens' wealth, money and ideas about status?
The Mao years had broke lots of ancient artifacts like the Yin family's broken pieces of door and beautiful carving destroyed. Some artifact dealer would hide it in the group so the artifacts would not be broken. They also took away the 4 big families wealth by spliting their homes and shutting down their buisness. Some buisnesses that the 4 big families have done was clothes, umbrella, matches, tea, braclete and others. In the present days, the four big houses are Huo XIng Ruan, Bao cheng Fu, Yan Bao Cai and another house I do know. Almost everyone had to go to the farm to farm during the great leap or cutural revolution and earn money from these tickets that was given by the government. During Mao years, the wealth was controlled by the governement which shows that the government is the most wealthy I changed the question because the 4 big families was during 1949, the start when Mao Zi Dong had power. 

2. Are there other events that deeply affected Xizhou's wealth, money and status?
It is only the Mao years and the start of Deng Xiao Ping liberation where their living standards are much better

3. Do you believe that wealth, money and status affect your happiness?
People I meet will either say that it affect or it does not. The difference is with their values they want in life.  Let take Mr. Qiu for an example, he says life is much more than wealth and we do need so much only objects to survive. Wealth does not affect his happiness but the enviornment like quiet and nature would. He himself would earn happiness when he goes out to play like sometimes he would not open his buisness  for a month. He owns this resteruant for 10 years and open his shop for 8 years. He likes to balence his job and play. On the other hand, there is Mr. Yin who believes that if he is wealthy he would be more happier. This could be a reason because they do not appreciate what he has now and envy the rich and wealthy people. 

4. Do you believe your current income gives you happiness? If not, how much more would be needed to be happy?

In the past, who was the most wealth in the village? 
Almost all Xizhou villagers would say yes or sort of yes to orignal question, so there is no point of restating that question to everyone I have a conversation with. According to my chaperone Ms. Zhao, I learned that the gate of the village (SiFang Jie) would have imprinted the people who have lots of wealth and status. There would be the 4 wealthy family, 8 wealthy families and 12 wealthy family and people who work in governments. 

5. Do you spend money to improve your status like buying fashion clothes or the latest iPhones? 
Out of all the people I met, they would more likely reply a yes as the first two I interview Mr. Yin and Ms. Yin have replyed in the same way. I do not think that shopping is only a hobby for the rich. I learned that people would buy objects for their own interest than how much it cost as you can see where I gathered in Mr. Du  infromation. I learned that most people would care about themselves than others, so status is like how other people think of you which means that very few do. 

6. If you have a chance, would you live and work in the city or in Xizhou? Why?
This question is based on my interviewee's opinion. All people would notice the differences from small villagers and cities. It depends on how negativly or positivly the villagers opinion of the changers are. For example, Mr. Dong did not like the changes because of the living conditions are too expensive.  

7. Why do humans create economic classes like low, middle class, and high class? 

What do wealthy people do and how to become wealthy? 
They would do some popular buisnesses and fast to get money like clothes, umbrella, matches, tea, braclete. Some buisness that would not be a good way to get lots of money are antique stores where rarely anyone would buy these antiques because they are so expensive. People would buy antiques for collection or special occasions. Whena they are wealthy, they would reconstructe their houses to make it prettier and larger. They would also employ the unemployment to help their buisness. Mr. Du have shared with us about inner strength to become wealthy which are pereservarence and confidence. I crossed out the original question because this question is more suitable to diplomats and goverment officials than Xizhou villagers. 

8. How do you define wealth?

How signifigance is wealth to you?
I crossed the original question because I got very confusing answers or they were confused. I have asked this question in the end of my conversations so I have limited infromation. For Mr. Qiu, wealth is not signifigance to him and he values other parts of life.  Some values as I have written above would be nature, enjoyment. For one of my chaperones Ms. Song, she has said that she does not want lots of wealth which also means that wealth is not signifigance. Another antique collecter Ms. Yang would not treat wealthy people any different with ordinary people. 

9. Why do most people value wealth and money more than other values like health or happiness? 
Most people value wealth and money more because they think that this is the way to survival. They would want to have a competition to get higher money, wealth, status than others. It is what society has signaled people to do. Ms. Qiu said that they want too much and they usually want it for themselves. I then asked them would they want it for showing off but he said only some do.  Also I did not ask this to most people because many do not value it. 

10. What is your advice to future generation about wealth, status, and money?

How have the wealth levels of a city or village impact the core values of citizens? 
I did not ask the original  question because it was the answer I got would not really take a step in my research as I asked Mr.Yin and he said to work hard to earn status. My project is more directed to the wealthy with lots of status people, history and people's perspectives. Also if I was asked about this orignial question, I would not even mention wealth, status or money. The improved question's answer is from my personal opinion about the comparison of Shanghai and Xizhou. This questions is inspired by the answers Mr. Dong have gave to me and It has signifigantly improved my research. In Xizhou, there is an obvious wealth distrubion to everyone as you can see in the streets there are no BMW that the locals drive. This has impacted that the villagers are more friendly to each other because envy and jealousy is not something in their life. They are more happier and they would share infromation with me and give me free stuff. In Shanghai, envy and jealousy would happen and kindness would disapear as they would want to be better and more rich. In shanghai, it has a higher advantage to the higher and middle class because the living standerd are so expensive. Envy and jealousy would happen because they want to be better than everyone else, so they feel so good and they would have prejudice if someone is even richer. 

To go ahead of my journey, I would plan for my final product in Phase 4. Phase 4 is also to make sure my final product is meaningful for you and for me. 


1.Lansford, Tom. Communism. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2008. Print.

2.Richards, Charles Ph.D. The psychology of Wealth. N.p.: McGrow-HIll Company, 2012. Print

3. Tafel, Craig. Personal interview conducted by Nicole N, 7 March 2017 and 10 March 2017

4."Company Overview of LKN Communications, Inc." Bloomberg, n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2017. <

5."Deng Xiaoping." A&E Networks Television,03 July 2014. Web. 29 Jan. 2017.

6."China's 13th Five-Year Plan." China's 13th Five Year Plan. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2017. <http://www.china-un.or/eng/zt/China123456/>.

7."GDP per capita (Current US$)."GDP per capita(current US$) I Data. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2017. <>

8.Highlights of proposals for China's 13th Five- Year Plan." Highlights of proposals for China's 13th Five-year plan - Xinhua I English., 04 Nov. 2015. Web. 29 Jan. 2017.

9.Ms. Qi. Personal interview conducted by Nicole N, 7 March 2017

10.Ms. Yin. Personal interview conducted by Nicole N, 8 March 2017

11.Mr. Yin. Personal interview conducted by Nicole N, 9 March 2017  

12.Huda. "What Do Muslims Believe About the Afterlife?" N.P., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.<> 

13.Mr. Du. Personal interview conducted by Nicole N, 13 March 2017 and 21 March 2017

14.Ms. Yang. Personal interview conducted by Nicole N, 14 March 2017 

15.Mr. Yang. Personal interview conducted by Nicole N, 15 March 2017 

16.Mr. Du. Personal interview conducted by Nicole N, 15 March 2017

17. Elderly ladies. Personal interview conducted by Nicole N, 15 March 2017 

18. Ms. Yang. Personal interview conducted by Nicole N, 16 March 2017 

19. Mr. Qiu. Personal interview conducted by Nicole N, 16 March 2017 

20. Mr. Wang. Personal interview conducted by Nicole N, 16 March 2017

21.Ms. Zhao. Personal interview conducted by Nicole N, 20 March 2017

22. Ms. Song. Personal interview conducted by Nicole N,20 March 2017

Hi! My name is Nicole and I am in the Superior Group. I am from Hong Kong and I came to SAS in second grade. I am so glad that I have attended Microcampus and living in Xizhou is a bliss to experience. The beauty of the Xizhou will never dissolve away in my mind where there are mountain peaks of ice and green garlic fields flowing through the grass land. I miss this experience so much and I hope the future microcampers will feel this experience as special as I did.