Being Middle Class in China: Identity, Attitudes and Behaviour, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Being Middle Class in China

Identity, Attitudes and Behaviour, 1st Edition

By Ying Miao


150 pages

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Many studies of the Chinese middle class focus on defining it and viewing its significance for economic development and its potential for sociopolitical modernisation. This book goes beyond such objective approaches and considers middle class people’s subjective understanding and diverse experiences of class. Based on extensive original research including social surveys and detailed interviews, the book explores who the middle class think they are, what they think about a wide range of socioeconomic and sociopolitical issues, and why they think as they do. It examines attitudes towards the welfare state, social inequality, nationalism, relations with foreign countries and opinions on many social controversies, thereby portraying middle class people as more than simply luxury consumers and potential agents of democracy. The book concludes that a clear class identity and political consciousness have yet to emerge, but that middle class attitudes are best characterised as searching for a balance between old and new, the traditional and the foreign, the principled and the pragmatic.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Class Analysis in Comparative Perspective

3. Social Identity of the Middle Class

4. Between the State and the Market

5. Middle Class Attitude towards Socio-Political Affairs

6. Nationalism among the Middle Class

7. Viewing Those Below: The Marginalised Social Groups

8. Being Middle Class in the Middle Kingdom

About the Author

Ying Miao is a Lecturer in China Studies at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China.

About the Series

Routledge Studies on the Chinese Economy

The primary aim of this series is to publish original, high quality, research-level work, by both new and established scholars in the West and East, on all aspects of the Chinese economy, including studies of business and economic history. Works of synthesis, reference books and edited collections will also be considered. Submissions from prospective authors are welcomed.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies