Middle class: ways of defining and the special case of China

  • Gabriel Hasík

Abstract

Many ways of classifying the middle class more or less reflect the level of local prices, historical
background or social aspects. The middle class is generally considered one of the main pillars of the
market economy without which achieving and maintaining political stability would be impossible. This
is based on the assumption that middle-class members prefer rational political decisions, reject political
extremism and prefer political compromise. At the same time, however, the middle class has rising
expectations and can therefore be a significant factor in political change. The Chinese middle class has
one distinct difference over Western countries. While the middle class in the Western countries is the
enemy of the regime and the trigger for democratization, the Chinese middle class has often very close
relations with the ruling party. This article aims to show the major approaches to define the middle class,
respectively, the deeper sociological meaning of the class in general and specifically in China. The article
is based on literary research, and apart from theoretical part defining middle class, it describes challenges
Chinese middle class is facing. The main contribution of the article is the clear description of the
theoretical concept of the middle class and the identification of differentiating factors and determinants
of the Chinese middle class.

Published
2021-06-20
How to Cite
Hasík, G. (2021). Middle class: ways of defining and the special case of China. Köz-Gazdaság - Review of Economic Theory and Policy, 16(2), 102-115. Retrieved from http://retp.eu/index.php/retp/article/view/1328