The study of contemporary China constitutes a fascinating yet challenging area of scholarly inquiry. Recent decades have brought dramatic changes to China's economy, society and governance. Analyzing such changes in the context of multiple disciplinary perspectives offers opportunites as well as challenges for scholars in the field known as contemporary China Studies. The SAGE Handbook of Contemporary China is a two-volume exploration of the transformations of contemporary China, firmly grounded in the both disciplinary and China-specific contexts. Drawing on a range of scholarly approaches found in the social sciences and history, an international team of contributors engage with the question of what a rapidly changing China means for the broader field of contemporary China studies, and identify areas of promising future research. Part 1: Context: History, Economy, and the Environment Part 2: Economic Transformations Part 3: Politics and Government Part 4: China on the Global Stage Part 5: China's Foreign Policy Part 6: National and Nested Identities Part 7: Urbanization and Spatial Development Part 8: Poverty and Inequality Part 9: Social Change Part 10: Future Directions for Contemporary China Studies

Social Change: Introduction

  • By: Robert J. Barro, Yang Cheng, Mark W. Rosenberg, Wuyi Wang, Linsheng Yang, Hairong Li, Elizabeth Croll, Harper Goodman, Jennifer Golan, Terry Sicular, Nithin Umapathi, Kinglun Ngok, Kinglun Ngok, Chak Kwan Chan, Tony Saich, Kai-yuen Tsui, Youqiang Wang & Linda Wong
  • In:The SAGE Handbook of Contemporary China
  • Chapter DOI:
  • Subject:Asian Politics
Social Change: Introduction
Social Change: Introduction

This part of the Handbook presents a comprehensive amalgam of research on the conditions and characteristics of social change, and more broadly the relationships between the individual, family, society and state. Contributions range from population demographics, welfare institutions, education, the night-time economy, family relations, health, to the media. Noteworthy is the fact that the provision of social welfare has had a unique and varied historical trajectory. Today, a robust cultural history of traditional kinship-based support systems and waning socialist-era welfare institutions coexist within a geography of support provision divided by rural–urban classification and increasingly defined by market forces.

Emerging Patterns in Social Welfare

Fluctuations in the level of institutional provision of social welfare have created a dynamic relationship between contemporary and ...

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