Zhou Xiaohong

Middle Classes in China: Dream or Reality?

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The Chinese middle class is no longer an illusion. It exists, but its nature remains controversial. In China this social group can be called in at least five different ways: «intermediate layer», «medium-level wage earners», «mediumlevel owners», «petite bourgeoisie», «white collars»... These expressions are accurate, but none of them describes the category in its entirety. Who represents the middle classes in China? Who is excluded? When and how were these classes formed? Do they have the same characteristics of the American or European middle classes? This article is one of the first in depth reflections on this topic. It was written in late 2005, but it has not yet lost its efficacy.


  • China
  • Middle Classes


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