Rise of the Middle Class in China

Khasyanova, Adelya (2007) Rise of the Middle Class in China. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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With the fast expansion of Chinese economy, it is possible to observe more than the once obvious change. With regards to consumption, China is becoming a significant player on the world market economy. Some critics have argues that a result of the 1978 changes introduced by Deng Xiaoping has been the rise of the middle class in China, previously only barely existent and practically wiped in the 1960s during the Cultural Revolution. However, whilst China's middle class is still relatively small, it is without a doubt continuing to grow.

The existing literature contains a substantial amount of research regarding the subject of the middle class as it is represented in the West. Furthermore, there are a number of studies that have attempted to measure the middle class in China and make distinctive categorisations of it. However, there have been few studies that have examined the structure of the middle class in European countries and used it as a theoretical framework to compare it to that of the development of the middle class in China.

The aim of this study is to look closely at how the reforms of the twentieth century in China have affected the middle class sector of society. The first steps taken during The May Fourth Movement and subsequent changes saw the origins of the middle class culture, however these were partially eradicated during the Cultural Revolution and Mao Zedong's attempt to eliminate class inequality. Nonetheless, the opening of China to the rest of the world in 1978 has had a significant impact on the rise of the middle classes. These reforms, however, are double-sided. On the one hand, the consumerist attitudes new to China have continued to boost its economy, which in return equates to better paid jobs and increasing amount of disposable income in an average Chinese family. As a consequence, some are now able to afford higher education are able to pursue high-salaried carriers; indulge in the luxurious lifestyle and ultimately come to be classified as the middle class.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Keywords: Middle class, China, international business
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2008
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2018 14:29
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/21503

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