The New Middle Class in China: Consumption, Politics and the Market Economy

Hardcover | May 29, 2014

byEileen Yuk-Ha Tsang

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This book argues that Western class categories do not directly apply to China and that the new Chinese middle class is distinguished more by socio-cultural rather than by economic factors. Based upon qualitative interviews done in Guangdong in South China, the study looks at entrepreneurs, professionals, and regional party cadres from various age groups, showing the complex networks among these different groups and the continuing significance of cadres. The study also explores generational differences, exposing how older generations are pragmatic and business-oriented, rather than personally oriented in their consumption whereas the younger generations appear more flexible and hedonistic and tend to be more individualistic, materialistic and oriented towards personal gain. In neither older or younger generations is there much evidence that the new Chinese middle class is taking on a political role in advocating political reform alongside market reforms as is suggested by some Western stratification theorists. Despite being in the vanguard of consumption, they are the laggards in politics.

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This book argues that Western class categories do not directly apply to China and that the new Chinese middle class is distinguished more by socio-cultural rather than by economic factors. Based upon qualitative interviews done in Guangdong in South China, the study looks at entrepreneurs, professionals, and regional party cadres from ...

Eileen Yuk-Ha Tsang  is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong

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Kobo ebook|Dec 8 2015

$85.89 online$111.55list price(save 23%)
Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 8.89 × 5.68 × 0.74 inPublished:May 29, 2014Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230354440

ISBN - 13:9780230354449

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Table of Contents

Introduction: China Engages the Middle Class Society in the 21st Century?
(Re) Framing Class Analysis in Post-Reform China
Class Boundaries of the Older Generation of the Chinese New Middle Class
Generational Effects in the Chinese New Middle Class
Guanxi Networks and the Chinese New Middle Class
Middle Class Culture and Political Development
Conclusion: A China in the Making with a New Middle Class?