2011 Class and Class Consciousness in China

The first annual China Studies Centre workshop hosted at the University of Sydney, “Class and Class Consciousness in China” took place from 31 January-2 February, 2011.

The 2011 workshop discussed the impact of the last three decades in China on the development of class and class consciousness. Papers presented addressed issues of class formation within the new underclass, workers organisations, minority groups, and the working youth, and class consciousness through family narratives, gender, property ownership, consumer behaviour, entrepreneurial activities and the cultural industries.

The outcomes of the workshop will be published in three places
* a special issue of the Journal of Contemporary China
* an edited volume on China’s Middle Classes, and
* an edited volume on Workers and Peasants in China.

The workshop was attended by 42 participants from 20 institutions spanning China (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Nanjing University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Chinese University of Hong Kong), Australia (University of Sydney, Australian National University, University of Technology, Sydney), England (University of Sheffield, University of Leeds) and North America (Old Dominion University, UC Irvine, UC Davies, John Hopkins, University of Denver, University of Alberta), Singapore (National University of Singapore) and France (Sciences Po), with 23 papers presented over the 3 day workshop.

Papers presented:

  • Classes without Class Consciousness and Class Consciousness without Classes: The Meaning of Class in the People’s Republic (Yingjie Guo, University of Technology, Sydney)
  • Villains, Victims and Aspiring Proprietors: Framing Land-Losing Villages in China’s ‘New Enclosure Movement’ (Sally Sargeson, Australian National University)
  • China’s Urban Housing Class: Consumption, Lifestyles and Identity (Beibei Tang, Australian National University)
  • Status Groups and Classes in a Chinese Village: A Weberian Perspective (Jon Unger, Australian National University)
  • Awakening the God of Earth. Land, Place and Class in Urbanizing Guangdong (Luigi Tomba, Australian National University)
  • From Mills’ White Collars to the Chinese Homeowners’ Movement through the New Social Movements. Narratives on the Political Behaviors of the Middle Class (Jean-Luis Rocca, Sciences Po)
  • White Collar Workers: Gender and Class, Politics in a Chinese Organisation (Liu Jieyu, University of Leeds)
  • Being Elite: A Chinese Family 1931-2010 (Minglu Chen, University of Sydney)
  • New Economic Elites: The social basis of local power (Beatriz Carrillo, University of Technology, Sydney; Minglu Chen and David Goodman, University of Sydney)
  • Chinese Migrant Workers: Factors Constraining the Development of Class Consciousness (Anita Chan, University of Technology, Sydney and Kaxton Siu, Australian National University)
  • Dagong Poetry as Class Marker: Cultural Capital and Expressions of Industrial Experience (Wanning Sun, University of Technology, Sydney)
  • The Orientation of the Middle Class toward Democracy in China (Chen Jie, Old Dominion University)
  • Stabilizing Force or Destabilizing Force? Sociopolitical attitudes of the China’s middle class and its implication on political transition (Li Chunling, CASS)
  • Working Class Cultural Spaces: Comparing the Old and the New (Jack Linchuan Qiu and Hongzhe Wang, Chinese University of Hong Kong)
  • Chinese Private Entrepreneurs: Attributes, Identity, and Political Concerns (Yang Jing, National University of Singapore)
  • The formation of entrepreneurial group consciousness in China’s local political, social and economic environment (Hans Hendrischke, University of Sydney)
  • Industrial Restructuring and Class Transformation in China (Joel Andreas, John Hopkins University)
  • The Making and Re-making of the Working Class in South China (Alvin So and Parry Leung, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
  • New Generation Migrant Workers in China: Social Attitudes and Behavior Choice (Li Peilin, CASS)
  • Scaling the Socioeconomic Ladder: Uyghur Perceptions of Class Status (Xiaowei Zang, University of Sheffield)
  • The Ruoshi Qunti [Weak Community]: The New Underclass and its Consciousness (Dorothy Solinger, University of California, Irvine)
  • Learning to Serve: Youth and New Working Class Formations in Urban China (Terry Woronov, University of Sydney)
  • Towards the Chinese Consumer Society (Carolyn Cartier, University of Technology, Sydney)