Myth of the Social Volcano: Perceptions of Inequality and Distributive Injustice in Contemporary Chinaby Martin Whyte
Pub. Date: 03/15/2010
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Many have speculated that popular anger about rising inequality is propelling China toward a "social volcano" of protest activity and political instability. In 2004, sociologist Martin King Whyte undertook the first systematic, nationwide survey of ordinary Chinese citizens to ask them how they feel about inequalities that have resulted from China's market opening.
Many have speculated that popular anger about rising inequality is propelling China toward a "social volcano" of protest activity and political instability. In 2004, sociologist Martin King Whyte undertook the first systematic, nationwide survey of ordinary Chinese citizens to ask them how they feel about inequalities that have resulted from China's market opening. His findings reveal that most accept the main features of market-generated inequalities and are optimistic about their chances to better their livelihoods through talent and hard work.
Whyte explains this unexpected result by reconsidering of the nature of the transition from socialism to capitalism in China. The disadvantaged did not prosper much under Mao after the 1950s, while punishment of intellectuals, administrators, and others convinced many Chinese that the social order then was highly inequitable. The repudiation of these policies in the market reform era, along with increased geographic and social mobility, has led many citizens to believe that the current social order is more equitable, although objectively income gaps have widened. However, changes in recent years, and particularly the impact of the global financial crisis, raise questions about whether, and when, the social volcano might start to rumble.
- Stanford University Press
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations ix
Introduction: Is Rising Inequality Propelling China Toward a "Social Volcano"? 1
Part I How Angry Are Chinese Citizens About Current Inequalities?
Chapter 1 China's Post-Socialist Transition and Rising Inequality 11
Chapter 2 The China National Survey on Inequality and Distributive Justice 33
Chapter 3 What Do Chinese Citizens See as Fair and Unfair About Current Inequalities? 43
Chapter 4 Chinese Views on Inequality in Comparative Perspective 68
Part II The Social Contours of Feelings of Distributive Injustice
Chapter 5 Chinese Attitudes Toward Current Inequalities 95
Chapter 6 Perceptions of Current Inequalities 104
Chapter 7 Preferences for Equality and Inequality 117
Chapter 8 Views on Stratification and Class Conflict 139
Chapter 9 Views About Opportunities and Social Justice 163
Conclusion: Beyond the Myth of the Social Volcano 181
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >