April 9th, 2016
Blog Post #3
This research provides insights into the perception of a sample of Chinese undergraduate students on the characteristics and impact of the rise of the middle class in China. Our research uses a survey research methodology distributed to 107 students at the University of Shanghai Science and Technology. We compared our results from the survey to other studies analyzing the points of view of China’s general public, opinion leaders, and business leaders, as well as growing and modernizing urban populations in China.
The results of our study demonstrate that today’s students have somewhat different views of the middle class and its future role in China than other found studies. Because our study specifically targets educated youth and other found studies do not we found that our study defines the middle class differently than others. Most of the existing research suggest that occupation is the defining characteristic of the middle class, however, the students in our survey use education and median income as the two key defining characteristics of the middle class.
We also found that the university students from our survey are much more oriented towards working in the private sector and much less interested in seeking state employment. This may indicate a possible alternative view for the future role of the middle class in China. The current younger generation is much more westernized and seems to have so much more values that are individualistic. We conclude that the educated youth are much more conservative politically about advocating social and economic changes, but if they are persistent on social changes it may have an impact on China in the near future.