Vortrag von Prof. Björn Alpermann (Würzburg)
Political scientists conventionally assume a relationship between social class and political attitudes. Often, when looking at authoritarian countries such as China, they examine whether the rise of certain social groups tends to challenge the existing regime. In particular, there are two rivalling lines of thought. Many authors base their research on classical modernization theory and analyze whether the growth of a middle class will lead to a democratic challenge.
This study takes a different approach altogether in that it begins by asking how Chinese people perceive their own trajectory of social mobility. This subjective view is held to be more important to explain political thinking than objectively defined social status (belonging to one occupational group or income bracket). Different trajectories of social mobility, including hypotheses on their relationship to political thinking, have been elaborated earlier based on more than one hundred qualitative interviews. The typology distinguishes between those who perceive personal social advancement as possible or even realized and others who doubt having such opportunities. Different ideal-types are connected to varying political views in three dimensions: attitudes toward state authority, desires for political participation and political efficacy.
This presentation advances the analysis one step further by testing these hypotheses against a larger dataset obtained in a standardized questionnaire survey conducted in Beijing, Xi’an and Wenzhou in early 2015 (n=1200). This unique data will shed new light on highly relevant and much debated questions regarding Chinese citizens’ political attitudes and values and their connections to questions of class.
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02.06.2016 | 18:00 c.t.
Holzlaub, Raum 2.2059