China’s Peasants and Workers: Changing Class Identities

China’s Peasants and Workers: Changing Class Identities

CSC China Perspectives series

Edited by Beatriz Carrillo and David S.G. Goodman

The expert contributors illustrate how the development of the urban economic environment has led to changes in the urban working class, through an exploration of the workplace experiences of rural migrant workers, and of the plight of the old working class in the state-owned sector. They address questions on the extent to which migrant workers have become a new working class, are absorbed into the old working class, or simply remain as migrant workers. Changes in class relations in villages in the urban periphery – where the urbanization drive and in-migration has lead to a new local politics of class differentiation – are also raised.

Preface

Edited by Beatriz Carrillo and David S.G. Goodman

Subjects: asian studies, asian development, asian geography, asian politics and policy, asian urban and regional studies, development studies, asian development, politics and public policy, asian politics, urban and regional studies, regional studies, urban studies

Extract

The economic changes since 1978 in China have been widely regarded as having brought significant social and political change. Although it might once have seemed almost self-evident to examine social and political change in China from the perspective of class and class consciousness, this has not, for the most part, occurred with respect to the last three decades. A workshop held at the University of Sydney’s new China Studies Centre in late January and early February 2011 discussed the impact of the Reform Era in China on the development of class and class consciousness. In particular it highlighted the need for greater understanding and analysis of the changes involving manual, semi-skilled and skilled labourers. This volume brings together new research by leading scholars concerned with class formation and class consciousness among and between the peasantry, migrant workers and the urban working class. It highlights how economic growth has changed class relations and class consciousness in villages and in the urban workplace. Most importantly this research addresses issues related to the extent to which migrant workers form a new working class, are absorbed into the old working class, or simply remain as migrant workers. It is also concerned with how changes in the urban economic environment have led to changes in the urban working class, and most dramatically for workers in state-owned enterprises (SOEs), many of whom have been adversely impacted by economic restructuring. Overall there are a number of complex trajectories of change for different social categories that are of...