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The Structure and Evolution of Chinese Social Stratification

Li Yi

There have been two great shifts of power on the world stage during the past five centuries: the rise of Europe following the Industrial Revolution, and the rise of the United States after its Civil War. As we speak, a new power shift is beginning to take shape: the rise of Asia. Leading Asia's charge toward the world's center stage are the reemerging powers of China and India. To answer and adapt to such new challenges, the United States must develop a thorough understanding of the society of China.

This book is a groundbreaking work in China Studies. For generations, China scholars have pursued the structure of Chinese social stratification, but none has completely succeeded in constructing even a single, complete model.

The Annual Review of Sociology 2002 reported: "Insufficient research attention has been given to emerging social classes in rural and urban China and existing analysis are hampered by the still evolving nature of social and economic structures in which social classes are in the making. Thus, insightful analysis and reliable assessments are to be called for from future researchers."

The Structure & Evolution of Chinese Social Stratification has finally addressed this gap. Dr. Li provides detailed analysis critical to understanding the class structure of Chinese society, both pre-1949 and in the post-Mao era. His explanation of the origin, structure, and evolution of the model will be essential reading material for any introductory student of Chinese society.
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University Press of America
Pages: 258Size: 8 1/4 x 8 3/4
978-0-7618-3331-4 • Paperback • October 2005 • $52.99 • (£37.95)
Li Yi is the author of two books and a dozen journal articles on Chinese society and culture. He received his M.A. in Sociology from the University of Missouri—Columbia, and his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Before coming to the United States in 1994, Dr. Li was an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Northwestern School of Law in China.
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Chinese Social Stratification before 1949
Chapter 3 Chinese Social Stratification and the Cadre System1949-1959
Chapter 4 Chinese Social Stratification and the Cadre System1959-1979
Chapter 5 Chinese Social Stratification and the Cadre System1979-1993
Chapter 6 Chinese Social Stratification and the Civil Service System after 1993
Chapter 7 Understanding Chinese Social Stratification: The National University Entrance Examination, the Household Registration System, and the Work Unit
Chapter 8 Summary: Chinese Social Stratification after 1949
...a comprehensive treatment of such an important topic...laid out in a clear and logical way. The arguments and conclusions are based on detailed empirical statistical information of occupations and other relevant variables...insightful and provocative...from an expert who understands the Chinese society well.
Kam Wing Chan, Professor, Department of Geography, University of Washington

I have been using this book as a primary textbook in the course "Chinese Social Change after WWII" for two years...The data in this book [is] so rich and detailed, [it] enriches my teaching...This book...[is]...key for Japanese people [to] understand China.
Dr. Hidematsu Hiyoshi, Lecturer, Nihon University, College of Humanities and Sciences

Good analysis, very informative. I plan to use it again as reserved reading for my sociology course on globalization and Chinese society.
Renxin Yang, Northern Michigan University

This book provides the readers with a comprehensive understanding of the structure and evolution of the Chinese social stratification....The book...is...quite conducive to understanding the Chinese culture and society.
2007; Journal of Chinese Political Science

My students are finding [The Structure and Evolution of Chinese Social Stratification] very useful...[My students] like the approach to the class structure. I intend to assign it again next year.
Stu Shafer, professor of Sociology, Johnson County Community College