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The Chinese Lifestyle : The Reconfiguration of the Middle Class in Contemporary China, Paperback / softback Book

The Chinese Lifestyle : The Reconfiguration of the Middle Class in Contemporary China Paperback / softback

Part of the Routledge Contemporary China Series series

Paperback / softback


The research presented in this book explores the formation of the middle class in contemporary urban China. Including case studies on middle-class professionals living in Beijing, this book analyses how social and economic changes to Chinese society create a middle-class lifestyle and new forms of distinction with a particular focus on the social construction of identity.

Looking through the lens of individuals’ perception of life trajectories and ideological taxonomies generated within the framework of post-Maoist China, the book uncovers the role that the Chinese middle-class play in a state-sponsored discourse and where the distinctions identifying the middle-class lifestyle produce inequality, transfer privilege, and disadvantage in contemporary urban China.

It goes on to question hegemonic discourses on class, arguing that a middle-class identity is progressively constructed in urban China not only though consumption practices, but through the experience of non-individualistic activities in both the public and private spheres.

Analyzing how social distinctions are performed contributes to the understanding of the Chinese middle-class pre-pandemic, as well as the continual challenges this social group shall face in the years to come.

As such, this is a must read for those interested in the Chinese middle-class, Chinese politics, and gender studies.


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