University of Nottingham Ningbo China
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Middle Class China: Dreams and Aspirations

28 January 2015 (16:00-18:00)

The School of Contemporary Chinese Studies invites you to attend the seminar on January 28th, please check the following details:

About the seminar

Since 2002 the Chinese Communist Party has promoted the growth of the country's middle class. For China's urban population the prospect of an expanding middle class is the promise of increasing prosperity. For the Chinese Communist Party an expanding middle class is seen as delivering legitimacy through that economic prosperity, and in the process establishing a new foundation for social harmony. The rest of the world sees China's growing middle class as a driver for greater democracy, with which it believes it will feel more comfortable; and an indicator of the PRC's greater global integration. The problem with this analysis is that while the middle classes have certainly grown in numbers with economic growth since 1978, that expansion has been both limited and not independent of the Party-state. About 12 per cent of the population can be identified as middle class: a well-established middle class that is closely associated with the Party-state and a not-so-well established entrepreneurial middle class. These middle classes show no evidence of wanting regime change, though there is evidence of critical views of the state of social justice and a desire for social change.

About the speaker

David S G Goodman is Professor of Chinese Politics at the University of Sydney; in the School of Social and Behavioural Sciences at Nanjing University; and Professor of China Studies at Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University (Suzhou). His research is mainly concerned with social and political change at the local level in China, and he is currently working on a study of China's new economic elites. His most recent publications include China's Peasants and Workers (Edward Elgar, 2012) with Beatriz Carrillo; Middle Class China (Edward Elgar, 2013) with Minglu Chen; and Class in Contemporary China (Polity Press, 2014.)