Structuration or Individualization: Changes in the Social Stratificationin in Urban China From 1988 to 2009

Fengming MA

Abstract


This paper uses the urban household survey data for 1988-2009 in the city of S to make primary research whether the person’s objective class position affects consumption patterns in the process of social inequality of urban. The results show that the urban class structuration is a substantially inverted U curve, not a linear process. In 1988-1993 during the early period of the marketization, the “destratification” and “popular” characteristics had been mainly presented and there was no significant difference in most projects in consumption patterns between classes. In 1994-2001 in the dual marketization stage, the class structuration had basiclly formed, that is, there was a significant difference in expenditure and the class taste and culture had gradually formed. Since the marketization expansion stage in 2002, the consumption patterns of class has been presented the “semi-structured” state and the explanatory power of class shows an apparent decline. With the improvement in economy, the society has entered the stage of mass consumption and person’s consumption patterns tended to be diversified and individualized.


Keywords


Structuration; Individualization; Social stratification; Consumption patterns

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968%2F4573

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