CSC China in Perspective

Agreement has been reached with the UK-based publisher Edward Elgar to produce a book series for the China Studies Centre to be called China in Perspective. The perspectives in question are historical and comparative as well as contemporary China under the pressure of economic growth. The series will publish both edited volumes resulting from the Centre’s workshops and conferences, and monographs written by Centre members. Editor: David Goodman.

Middle Class China: Identity and Behaviour edited by Minglu Chen and David S G Goodman

Book description
Discussion of China’s Middle Class is almost ubiquitous, yet the idea is both poorly conceptualized and for the most part empirically untested. Within China there is a tendency to operationalize the notion of the middle class as though it were a Marxist class concept. Outside China there is a tendency to describe all changes of China’s Reform Era as leading to the development of that country’s middle class, and with it the inevitability of market capitalism and liberal democracy. Reform has certainly increased the size of China’s middle class since 1978. At the same time, there is really no single middle class but a series of middle classes. These different middle classes clearly represent a variety of examples of social stratification with different identities and behavioural characteristics. There is, however, little in their behaviour to suggest a propensity for radical socio-political change, yet alone a predisposition to either market capitalism or liberal democracy.

This volume concentrates on the behaviour and identity of different elements of China’s middle classes in order to analyse the dynamic processes of socio-political change of which they are part. It follows Chinese practice in including entrepreneurs alongside managers, professionals, administrators, intellectuals and teachers as part of the growing middle class. It also follows the practices of analysis outside China in identifying the middle class as much by its consumption – notably of housing, education, and lifestyle – as by its place in the class structure. The picture of China’s middle class that emerges is one that is inherently complex, but it is one that places the middle class at the centre of the social and political establishment.

book cover chinas peasants and workers


China’s Workers and Peasants: Changing Class Identities Edited by Beatriz Carrillo and David S G Goodman
Product details
Publication Date: September 30, 2012
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1781005729
ISBN-13: 978-1781005729

Book description
This unique and fascinating book explores three decades of economic change in China and the consequent transformation of class relations and class-consciousness in villages and in the urban workplace. The expert contributors illustrate how the development of the urban economic environment has led to changes in the urban working class, through an exploration of the workplace experiences of rural migrant workers, and of the plight of the old working class in the state owned sector. They address questions on the extent to which migrant workers have become a new working class, are absorbed into the old working class, or simply remain as migrant workers. Changes in class relations in villages in the urban periphery - where the urbanization drive and in-migration has lead to a new local politics of class differentiation - are also raised. Presenting new, original field research detailing social and socio-economic change in China, this book will prove invaluable to scholars, researchers and postgraduate students with an interest Asian studies, public policy, regional and urban studies, political science or sociology.