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Research on Contemporary Chinese middle class

Author: JiaKeHao
Tutor: ZuoXiangShun
School: Shandong Normal University
Course: Marxist Theory and Ideological and Political Education
Keywords: middle class upsurge structure of social stratum all-round well-off society system innovation
CLC: D663.5
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2005
Downloads: 492
Quote: 4
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As human society entered the 21st century, our country started a new phase ofdevelopment for building a well-off society in an all-round way and speeding upsocialist modernization. This is a crucial stage in the whole course of modernizationas well as an important stage in which great changes will take place in thesocioeconomic formation. As to the structure of social stratum, the structure of socialstratum in the modern society, which is mainly made up of the middle class, is themost essential aspect in the modernization of a country, which is just what Chinalacks for the time being. Therefore, in the report of 16th National Congress ofCommunist Party of China, it is proposed that the proportion of medium-sized incomestratum should be expanded, which indicates that the Party and the government havealready noticed that the transformation of the structure of social stratum is laggedbehind and they have begun to train up China’s middle class. However, the “middleclass”is undoubtedly a strange topic to a traditional society such like China and howto train up China’s middle class is a subject which calls for special efforts to study.Based on the synthesis of numerous scholars’research results in the academia, Iput forward my own points of view and understanding through investigation andthinking. This thesis is divided into six parts, namely, the introduction, the analysis ofthe inevitability of the middle class’upsurge, the significance of the middle class’upsurge on building a well-off society in an all-round way, the analysis of the currentsituation of the development of the middle class, the restriction factors andcountermeasures to accelerate the growth of the middle class and the conclusion.It is held in this thesis that the middle class refers to people who have acomparatively strong consuming capacity. Their fundamental feature is that theypossess social resources moderately in the society of market economy and the actualschooling they received is above the average education in the country. They areengaged in the mental labor or highly skilled manual labor and they have free,democratic and open ideas and good cultivation of ethic thought. At present, China’smiddle class is mainly made up of ten groups of people, including newly-emergedentrepreneurs and technical personnel employed by non-public scientific andtechnological enterprises, managerial and technical staff employed byoverseas-funded enterprises, the self-employed, private entrepreneurs, employees inintermediaries, free-lance professionals, and the civil servants, the teachers andresearchers in the universities and scientific research institutions, managerial andtechnical staff employed by the state-owned and collective enterprises, employees inmonopoly industries, which transformed from the original system, etc. That proletarians become men of property is an inevitable trend in thedevelopment of human history. It is an inevitable phenomenon of the modern societythat the middle class emerges and becomes the mainstream of the social structure.According to the direction of development of the Chinese society, Deng XiaopingTheory, the important thoughts of “Three Represents”and the scientific concept ofdevelopment become flags guiding the development in present-day China. The roadof China’s market economy cannot be shaken, China’s social flow mechanism isbecoming sounder and the public field has appeared. All of the above facts havedetermined the upsurge of China’s middle class is inevitable. The upsurge of China’s middle class is especially of great significance tobuilding the well-off society in an all-round way. Firstly, it will help to promote thetransformation of the social structure and maintain social stability. Secondly, it willhelp to support the consumptive society and realize the sustained economic growth.Thirdly, it will help to develop democratic politics and establish socialist politicalcivilization. Fourthly, it will help to speed up the development of cultural industry andestablish socialist spiritual civilization. The birth of China’s middle class followed two roads: one is “born in the civlland”and the other is "introduced from foreign countries". According to the formationof China’s middle class, in the early days of the reform and opening-up, thereappeared the special “elite circulation”which was soon replaced by the phenomenonof “elite reproduction”. In present-day China, the importance of knowledge and skillgrows with each passing day, which makes the high-quality talents, who ownknowledge and skill, easily turn into the middle class. At present, China’s middleclass have comparatively conspicuous characteristics. Firstly, China’s middle classhave already appeared, though the scale is still small at present, yet they grow rapidly.Secondly, China’s middle class possess comparatively distinct characteristics. Thirdly,the evolution from the old middle class to the new one is with obvious Chinesecharacteristics. Fourthly, the composition of China’s middle class takes on the featureof multi-division, which makes the cognition of the stratum relatively hard. Lastly, theculture of the middle class has already appeared, yet it is still in its initial stage. Seen from both the theoretical aspect and the international experience, or seenfrom the social flow in present-day China, the change of systems all has a remarkable

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CLC: > Political, legal > China's political > Class structure and social structure > Classes and strata > Intellectual class
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