Table of Contents

Handbook on Class and Social Stratification in China

Handbook on Class and Social Stratification in China

Handbooks of Research on Contemporary China series

Edited by Yingjie Guo

This comprehensive, interdisciplinary Handbook illustrates the patterns of class transformation in China since 1949, situating them in their historical context. Presenting detailed case studies of social stratification and class formation in a wide range of settings, the expert contributors provide valuable insights into multiple aspects of China’s economy, polity and society. The Handbook on Class and Social Stratification in China explores largely neglected contemporary topics such as women’s social mobility in relation to marriage and the high school entrance exam as a class sorter, placing it at the forefront of progressive literature.

Introduction: class and stratification in the People’s Republic of China

Yingjie Guo

Subjects: asian studies, asian development, asian geography, asian politics and policy, asian social policy, geography, asian geography, politics and public policy, asian politics, social policy and sociology, social policy in emerging countries


The subject of the handbook is the shifting class map and status order of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), as well as the changing patterns and dynamics of social stratification, which are telling indicators of its socio-political reality. The subject will be analysed from multiple perspectives in the broad context of China’s economic, political, social and cultural change, so that the analysis of fundamental changes in China’s class reality and stratification will not only produce a panorama of class formation, class sorting and class experiences as well as status attainment and maintenance in the PRC, but also aid understanding of the evolution of its polity, economy and society in general. Whilst the handbook will encompass the whole PRC period, its focus will be placed upon the transition from the pre-reform era (1949–1978) to the post-reform era and recent developments since 1978.