The middle class in China divided into two categories like in many other countries; upper and lower middle class. The upper middle class has more spending money. They can take family vacations and own expensive cars. On the other hand, lower middle-class consumers are usually afraid of taking their time off work for illness since they fear that doing so will cost them their jobs. Apart from this, the middle class in the majority of the big cities usually accumulates vast debts to pay for their residential apartments. In addition, the middle class is delicate given that the social security system in place is not that perfect. The Chinese middle class cannot be compared to the middle-class
Hernandez 3 populations in the United States due to China’s high populations and limited arable land that makes them live in low economic standard levels. A more precise definition of the middle class is given by Elisabeth Croll in China’s New Consumers: Social Developmental and Domestic Demand , who refers to them as a group of common people, the largest between the rich and the poor (Croll 101). Croll further suggests that they should have a monthly income of at least five thousand Yuan and have received a university education (Croll 101). In addition to this definition, the middle class also refers to a state of mind in which knowledge and economic status define the value of the people in this category and their attitude towards life is evident in the society. Croll further asserts that this category has grown tremendously since the end of the Mao era (Croll 101). It is evident that the Chinese society does not provide equal opportunities for people to understand their dreams, and therefore most people in this class are not happy and do not match with this term. According to the article “China’s Middle Class is about to demand Big Changes” the Chinese middle class is demanding some type of protection towards their rights. The middle class is becoming vocal and are demanding changes from government officials (Pei). The majority of the middle class wants to relocate to another country where they can have more opportunities to succeed. Early Consumption in China The Chinese government was resistant to consumerism for quite some time. The government believed that consumerism would lead China to a bad
Hernandez 4 path. Due to the fact they had an issue with the early stages of consumerism. In the eighteen century China had a big issue on their hands with the consumption of the drug opium (Stearns 93). This was the early stages of consumerism in China that also lead to the Opium Wars. The Opium
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- Fall '08