This book analyses the making of the Chinese middle class that started in the 1990s using a constructivist approach. With the development of the Chinese ecomy, a new group of middle wage earners appeared. Chinese social scientists and state institutions promoted the idea that China needs a middle class to achieve modernization. Middle class members are defined-and define themselves-as good consumers, educated people, politically engaged but reasonable citizens. As such, the making of the middle class is the result of three convergent phemena: an attempt to define the middle class, a process of civilization, and the development of protest movements. The making of the Chinese middle class, Rocca argues, is a way to end the stalemate that modern Chinese society is facing, in particular the necessity to democratize without introducing an election system.
Jean-Louis Rocca is Professor at Sciences Po, France, and Researcher at the Center for International Studies, Sciences Po, France. A specialist of Chinese society, he is the author of A Sociology of Modern China (2015) and co-author (with Francoise Mengin) of Politics in China: Moving Frontiers (2002). Rocca is member of the editorial board of The China Quarterly.
Date of Publication
Social Studies: General
The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy