Book Monitor: Chinese inequality

In: Uncategorized

27 Jul 2010

Martin King Whyte, a professor of sociology at Harvard, has written a fascinating sounding study of perceptions of inequality in China. The Myth of the Social Volcano (Stanford UP) is based on the first systematic national survey of Chinese citizins which was carried on in 2004

According to a discussion of the book in the Financial Times (3 July):

“Whyte’s book is based on on-the-ground research into the attitudes of Chinese people towards market capitalism, disparities of wealth and distributive injustice. In a nutshell, his study finds that Chinese people have an almost American tolerance for the accumulation of individual wealth, which they attribute largely to effort and education. That contrasts with the experience of post-communist east European economies, where attitudes to the emergence of a new rich are more negative. It also counters the perception that Chinese people are increasingly convinced that wealth is the result of corruption, not individual effort.”

The introduction is available online here.