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The creation of a new underclass in China and its implications

The creation of a new underclass in China and its implications The emergence of a new urban underclass in China is a major challenge confronting theCommunist Party, and its potential for fomenting instability has unnerved the Party.A strong case can be made, however, that the members of this emerging group havebeen cast into their current plight chiefly as a result of the marketization reformsthat the regime itself set into motion two and a half decades ago. The group iscomprised of recently laid-off workers, underpaid and underprivileged migrantlabourers from the countryside, and any others who have fallen into penury with thewithdrawal of job and welfare security and the elimination of free health care inthe cities, which have accompanied the government's “economicreforms”. However, the challenge may not be as great as is often feared,for the same reforms have equipped the leadership with a battery of“weapons” that have the power to mitigate the expression ofgrievances, including new welfare measures, state-of-the-art surveillancetechnologies and crowd control equipment. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Environment and Urbanization SAGE

The creation of a new underclass in China and its implications

Environment and Urbanization , Volume 18 (1): 17 – Apr 1, 2006

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References (34)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0956-2478
eISSN
1746-0301
DOI
10.1177/0956247806063972
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The emergence of a new urban underclass in China is a major challenge confronting theCommunist Party, and its potential for fomenting instability has unnerved the Party.A strong case can be made, however, that the members of this emerging group havebeen cast into their current plight chiefly as a result of the marketization reformsthat the regime itself set into motion two and a half decades ago. The group iscomprised of recently laid-off workers, underpaid and underprivileged migrantlabourers from the countryside, and any others who have fallen into penury with thewithdrawal of job and welfare security and the elimination of free health care inthe cities, which have accompanied the government's “economicreforms”. However, the challenge may not be as great as is often feared,for the same reforms have equipped the leadership with a battery of“weapons” that have the power to mitigate the expression ofgrievances, including new welfare measures, state-of-the-art surveillancetechnologies and crowd control equipment.

Journal

Environment and UrbanizationSAGE

Published: Apr 1, 2006

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