Boundaries and Categories: Rising Inequality in Post-Socialist Urban China (Studies in Social Inequality)
- Publish Date: 2007-12-04
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: Feng Wang
In the last two decades of the twentieth century, following the worldwide collapse of communism, China ascended from being one of the most egalitarian societies in the world to one of the more unequal. Wang Feng documents the process of rising inequality in urban China during this period, and explores the underlying structural forces that define China's emerging social landscape.
By treating social categories created under socialism, such as cities and work organizations, as explicit forces generating inequality, the author reveals a pattern that embodies both enlarging inequality between social categories and persistent equality within them. This pattern is traced to China's post-socialist political economy and to a long-existing cultural tradition that places a premium on harmony and group solidarity. China's great reversal from equality to inequality is a powerful example of how social categories, not individual traits and preferences, structure and maintain inequality.