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ProtoSociology

Volume 28, 2011

China's Modenization I

Björn AlpermannOrcid-ID
Pages 7-24

Class, Citizenship and Individualization in China’s Modernization

Against the backdrop of China’s rapid social change in recent decades, this article explores the social categorizations of class and citizenship and how these have evolved in terms of structure and discourse. In order to do so, possibilities of employing Beck’s theory of second modernity to the case of China are explored. While China does not fit into Beck’s theory on all accounts, it is argued here that his individualization thesis can be fruitfully employed to make sense of China’s ongoing process of modernization. It may provide a welcome new starting point for analyses of China’s current social developments beyond the “simple” modernization theories that still dominate in China studies.