Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

8-2011

Abstract

I use a Marxist framework centred on the mode of production to conceptually analyze the changing stratification structure in today’s China with a focus on the changing nature of rural-urban inequality. As the state-managed tributary mode of production, once dominant under socialism, is being gradually eclipsed by the reviving petty-commodity mode of production and the newly emerged capitalist mode of production, both of which are market-based and enable the transfer of surplus from labour to capital, a new set of mechanisms are creating and sustaining rural-urban inequality in China. Rural-urban inequality – although still significant in its magnitude – is no longer primarily based on the politically created status difference between rural and urban household registrations, but more on the newly formed rural-urban division of labour in China’s new market economy. I use this perspective to look at how market situation – rather than household registration – is shaping the contours of rural-urban divide in today’s China in three areas: inequality in rural areas, rural-urban disparities, and rural migrants in cities.

Keywords

rural-urban inequality, class stratification, mode of production, household registration, rural migrants

Discipline

Asian Studies | Inequality and Stratification | Urban Studies

Research Areas

Sociology

Publication

International Journal of China Studies

Volume

2

Issue

2

First Page

327

Last Page

344

ISSN

2180-3250

Publisher

University of Malaysia, Institute of China Studies

Additional URL

http://cmsad.um.edu.my/images/ics/IJCSV2N2/IJCSV2N2-zhang.pdf

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