China Social Structure

2698 Words Jun 2nd, 2013 11 Pages
Essay Title: “Social Stratification and Class Structure in post-reform China”

Class Module Code: CH3004

Student Name: Ross Fehily

Student Number: 107621124

Submission Date: 8 December

Word Count:

This essay will focus in on and look at contemporary China’s social stratification and social class make up and structure during the post reform era, (post 1978) and what affects it has on today’s social make up. It will outline the different class’s that make up contemporary China’s social structure and give a detailed outlook and perspective on each class, and show what change they have undergone since the opening of China’s economy in the late 1970’s and introduction to a market based economy. The greatest outcome will
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(Li Yi, China Startifictaion, p.105). Many rural inhabitants, after the reform era had taken jobs in cities, albeit as a floating population, due to the strictness of the hukou household registration system most rural registered workers in cities today don’t enjoy the benefits of their urban registered counterparts, of housing, health care and schooling for their children. Most rural areas are also responsible for development of their own areas, with little support from the government, taxes and fees remain high in proportion in the countryside, as is the cost and low opportunities of schooling and further education. (Li Yi China Stratification p.192)Peasants also missed out largely in China’s great economic boom during the 1990’s and early 2000’s, with China’s economic annual growth an average of 9% in recent years, peasant income has increased, but rather in some cases decreased (Li Yi China Stratification p.219). Peasants are in a sense stuck within their boundaries due to the Household Registration System, or hukou. This social “apartheid” has created a massive imbalance between the coastal urban areas and the mainly rural western half of China. Urban household registered hukou holders had much of the states benefits in housing, education healthcare and employment ( Fei Ling Wang, Chinese Society, Change, conflict and resistance, (New York, Routledge,
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