Social Class in China Today

A Review of The New Emperors: Power and the Princelings in China by Kerry Brown, The Peasant in Postsocialist China: History, Politics, and Capitalism by Alexander F. Day, and Insurgency Trap: Labor Politics in Postsocialist China by Eli Friedman

In: Historical Materialism
Richard Westra Center for Macao Studies, University of Macau, China SAR

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This article looks anew at questions of social class in China. It does this through the prism of three recent books on China dealing with class. Key problems regarding social class in China treated in the article are those of the constitution of the working class given the fact that China’s workforce is largely composed of a ‘floating population’ of migrants, and of the position of the peasantry which had emerged as the revolutionary agent of the Mao years.

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