Class and the Communist Party of China, 1921-1978 : Revolution and Social Change book cover
1st Edition

Class and the Communist Party of China, 1921-1978
Revolution and Social Change

ISBN 9781032185095
Published February 25, 2022 by Routledge
266 Pages

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Book Description

Examining the interaction between the Communist Party of China (CCP) and specific social categories (including peasants, workers, the middle classes, and the dominant class), with a focus on class and class discourse, this volume analyses the CCP’s impact on social change in China between 1921 and 1978.

By exploring the CCP’s evolving discourse of class, this book demonstrates that, while class has retained its centrality, its meaning has been re-articulated from an ideological-political tool to a less meaningful signifier, though always used instrumentality. By examining the impact of the CCP’s policies and discourse surrounding class, it also reveals how its own policies since 1921 have shaped the CCP’s current (2021) perspectives on class and stratification. This volume, through an analysis of economic, political, and cultural inequalities in Chinese society even after 1949, also reveals the emergence of a diverse and often overlooked middle class in Chinese society during the 1950s.

Delivering a detailed analysis of how the CCP has developed its practical approaches to class and mobilization, this study will be of interest to students and scholars of Chinese politics, Chinese history, Asian politics, and Asian studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Class, China, Communism
David S G Goodman
1. The CCP’s Shifting Class Discourse: The Objectivity, Subjectivity and Utility of Class
Yingjie Guo
2. Learning to Live with Social Change: The Communist Party of China, Class and Mobilisation
David S G Goodman
3. Between Revolution and Reform: Class, Class Struggle, and Land Redistribution
Yingjie Guo
4. The Communist Party of China, Working Class and Social Change, 1920-1949
Marc Blecher
5. Class as a Political Tool in Rural China: The Middle Peasant in the War of Resistance to Japan, 1937-1945
David S G Goodman
6. Radical Politics and the apotheosis of the working class, 1949-1978
Marc Blecher
7. Emergence without settling: the trajectory of the Chinese middle class from 1949 to the 1980s
Jean-Louis Rocca
8. The Dominant Class in a Changing Polity: Transformation and Institutionalisation
David S G Goodman
Conclusion: Class Definition and Policy Implementation
Tony Saich

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Marc Blecher is James Monroe Professor of Politics and East Asian Studies at Oberlin College, USA.

David S G Goodman is Professor of Chinese Politics and Director of the China Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Yingjie Guo is Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Jean-Louis Rocca is a professor and researcher at the Center for International Studies, Sciences Po Paris, France.

Tony Saich is Daewoo Professor of International Affairs and Director of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School, USA.