NEWS

International Workshop on “Middle Class and Social Change in Contemporary China”

Time: 14:30-18:00, 24th of January, 2014

Venue: Main Conference Room (3rd Floor), IASA Building, the University of Tokyo

Program

Program(PDF:364KB)

14:30-14:40 Greetings from Prof. Shigeto Sonoda (University of Tokyo)
14:40-15:30 Prof. David S.G. Goodman (University of Sydney) “Middle Class China: Dreams and Aspirations”
15:30-16:20 Dr. Minglu Chen (University of Sydney) “China’s Private Entrepreneurs and the Party-state: Mutual Dependence and Political Institutionalization”
16:20-17:10 Prof. Shigeto Sonoda (University of Tokyo) “Reexamining Myth of Social Volcano: Challenges and Attainments of Chinese Four-city Survey, 1997-2006”
17:10-17:30 Discussion

Sponsored by
Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) “From Accumulation of Data Archive to Creation of Models for Social Change: Challenges of Third Wave of China Four-city Survey” (Project ID: 25243001)

Co-organized by
Research and Information Center for Asian Studies and Department of Pioneering Asian Studies, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, the University of Tokyo Project on “Economic Development of China and East Asia in Long-run: The Trajectory and Prospects of Industrialization”, Institute of Social Science the Contemporary China Research Base, the University of Tokyo.


Middle Class China: Dreams and Aspirations

David S G Goodman
University of Sydney and Nanjing University

Since 2002 the Chinese Communist Party has promoted the growth of the country’s middle class. For China’s urban population the prospect of an expanding middle class is the promise of increasing prosperity. For the Chinese Communist Party an expanding middle class is seen as delivering legitimacy through that economic prosperity, and in the process establishing a new foundation for social harmony The rest of the world sees China’s growing middle class as a driver for greater democracy, with which it believes it will feel more comfortable; and an indicator of the PRC’s greater global integration. The problem with this analysis is that while the middle classes have certainly grown in numbers with economic growth since 1978, that expansion has been both limited and not independent of the Party-state. About 12 per cent of the population can be identified as middle class: a well-established middle class that is closely associated with the Party-state and a not-so-well established entrepreneurial middle class. These middle classes show no evidence of wanting regime change, though there is evidence of critical views of the state of social justice and a desire for social change.
Prof David S G Goodman is Academic Director of the China Studies Centre, University of Sydney; and Professor in the School of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Nanjing University. A graduate of the University of Manchester, Peking University, and the London School of Oriental and African Studies, his research concentrates on social and political change in China, especially at the local level. Current projects include a study of China\'s current new economic elites (with Beatriz Carrillo and Minglu Chen); and an examination of relations between local elites and the CCP in North China during 1939-1940. Recent publications include (with Bryna Goodman) Twentieth Century Colonialism and China (Routledge 2012); (with Beatriz Carrillo) China\'s Peasants and Workers (Edward Elgar, 2012); (with Minglu Chen) Middle Class China (Edward Elgar, 2013); and Class in Contemporary China (Polity 2014.)


China’s Private Entrepreneurs and the Party-state:
Mutual Dependence and Political Institutionalization

Minglu Chen
University of Sydney

By looking at private entrepreneurs’ political participation, this presentation examines the mutual dependence between the Party-state and its private economic sector. Research reveals that this group’s political capital mainly lies in their membership in the Communist Party, their experiences of holding offices in the Party-state system, their involvement in the People’s Congress and the Political Consultative Conference as well as their reception of varies political titles and honors. With the socio-political development of China, the connections between the private entrepreneurs and the Party-state are becoming more institutionalized.
Dr. Minglu Chen is a lecturer in Chinese Politics in the China Studies Centre and the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. She received her Ph.D. In International Studies from the University of Technology, Sydney in 2007. Dr. Minglu Chen was a lecturer in Chinese Studies in the Department of International Studies University of Guadalajara, Mexico in 2008-2009 and a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney in 2009-2012. She is the author of Tiger Girls: Women and Enterprise in the People’s Republic of China (Routledge, 2011); and editor (with David Goodman) of Middle Class China (Edward Elgar 2013). Her current research projects include an examination of the role of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a study of China’s current new economic elites (with David S G Goodman and Beatriz Carrillo Garcia), and a research on the adjustment of boundaries of China’s geographical administrative areas (with Carolyn Cartier).


“Reexamining Myth of Social Volcano:
Challenges and Attainments of Chinese Four-city Survey, 1997-2006”

Shigeto Sonoda
University of Tokyo

Prof. Martin K. Whyte’s book Myth of Social Volcano (2010) is an outstanding sociological work in English-speaking intellectual communities in that it provides us with empirical evidence which will deny the argument that China will suffer from protest activities and political stabilities by addressing ordinary citizen’s attitudes toward distributive justice. In non-English speaking communities, however, some challenging research projects have been conducted, and their research findings give us a lot of inspiration to know about social changes including the possibility of “social volcano” in contemporary China.
The reporter will present the case of Chinese Four-city Survey, 1997-2006, two waves of survey research in Tianjin, Chongqing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, to discuss whether their research findings will match with those of Myth of Social Volcano.
Shigeto Sonoda is a professor of sociology at the University of Tokyo. He is now a course director of ITASIA Course in Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies (GSII) and professor at Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia at the University of Tokyo. He is also a board member of several academic associations including Japan Association for Asian Studies Prof. Sonoda has taken initiatives in conducting researches including AsiaBarometer 2003-2008, Asia Student Survey 2008-13, Tianjin Annual Survey 1997-2011. His special interest is in social stratification and globalization of cultures in Asia, and localization process of Japanese company in Asian countries. His latest publications include: Emerging Middle Classes in East Asia, Keisho-shobo (editor, 2012, in Japanese) Can Education Solve Social Inequality?, Iwanami Shoten Publishers (with Atsuko Shimbo, 2010, in Japanese), Social Inequality in Contemporary China, Chuo Koron (2008, in Japanese, awarded Special Prize of 20th Asia-Pacific Award), Where Chinese Society is Heading for?: Dialogue with Chinese Sociologists, Iwanami Shoten Publishers (editor, 2008, in Japanese).