ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Beyond Workers and Peasants

Class in Contemporary China by David S G Goodman; New York: Wiley, 2014; pp xvii+233, £15.99

David Goodman, in this well-researched book, provides the material to answer three inter-related questions (although he does not explicitly formulate them in this manner): first, why do most (but not all) Chinese social scientists avoid using class as an analytical category even though it is not hard to see the emergence of a hierarchical class-based society in China, post-1978 reforms? Second, how does a communist state still hold on to some notion of a non-class society in the wake of rising class-based inequalities? Third, what is the Chinese class structure in the present (accompanied by low social mobility and high intergenerational transmission of wealth, privilege and advantage), and how does this help in understanding socio-economic change?

Class as a Category

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