The Changing Role of Social Class in China Term Paper by Harmel

The Changing Role of Social Class in China
An analysis of China's changing roles of social classes, as well as their historical development.
# 144733 | 1,731 words | 5 sources | APA | 2010 | US
Published on Sep 28, 2010 in Ethnic Studies (Asia) , History (Asian)

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This paper examines the history of China's social classes, and how their structure changed throughout and after the Maoist period. The paper explains that the establishment of Communism probably had the strongest impact in history on the structure of social classes, as well as the importance of social classes to the people in China. Despite the fact the class system went back to a system very similar to the one that existed before Mao, the paper continues, there was now a new generation of adults who were not old enough to remember the way things were before Mao. The paper concludes that the consequences of Mao's class system had a lasting affect on the people who lived through it; however, for many people such as Jung Chang, the effect it had was making people realize how wrong it was, and how inhumanely people were treated under Mao's system.

From the Paper:

"The new system, besides those families who were given the distinction of fighting for the revolution, the highest class was comprised of those people who were poor and lower-middle class peasants prior to the revolution. Just below them were the formerly middle class peasants, and then the formerly upper-middle class peasants (Unger 2002). These three classes were considered the good classes. The bad class was comprised of people who were one of the four elements prior to the revolution (Unger 2002). According to Unger (2002), the four elements were landlords, rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries, and those who preyed on the poor prior to the revolution. The last of the four elements would include criminals and village bullies who were hired by landlords to shakedown the peasants."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Watkins, J. (2003). "Dynastic China." Retrieved on May 23, 2010 from
  • "Ancient China Social Classes." (2009). Retrieved on May 23, 2010 from Ancient China Life:
  • Unger, J. (2002). The Transformation of Rural China. New York, NY: M.E. Sharpe, Inc.
  • Chang, J. (2003). Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China. New York, NY: Touchstone.
  • Qinglian, H. (2000). "China's Listing Social Structure." Retrieved on ay 23, 2010 from Shuwu:

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

The Changing Role of Social Class in China (2010, September 28) Retrieved April 22, 2021, from

MLA Format

"The Changing Role of Social Class in China" 28 September 2010. Web. 22 April. 2021. <>