China & The Cultural Identification of the Chinese Middle Class

Benjamin Cedric Larsen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This project is concerned with the relationship between the cultural identities of the emerging Chinese middle class and the current structures of power within the Chinese regime. By applying Antonio Gramsci’s theory of cultural hegemony, the relationship between the economic base of society being the Chinese middle class, and the superstructures being the cultural and ideological flows that orders and forms these identities, an understanding of the interrelationship between these spheres will be illuminated and brought forth. Key concepts of identity will in accordance with the macro-held perspective throughout the project be revolving around the notions of communism, capitalism and Confucianism. Communism is linked to the ideologies under Mao, whereas capitalism is linked to Deng Xiaoping’s pragmatic shift of the economy in 1978, which arguably has brought with it notions on a consumerist and popular culture, which the Chinese middle class now seem to identify themselves with. The legitimacy of a continued rule by the CCP will in this regard go through an ideological investigation. It will further be assessed if Confucian values seem to resurface within Chinese society. Through an analysis and discussion the cultural identity of the Chinese middle class and the ideological flows promoted by the ruling class through state intervention, is to be investigated. The applied theory of cultural hegemony is in this regard aimed at establishing an increased awareness of the complex interrelationship between these aspects of ‘state intervention’ and the cultural construction of middle class identities.

UddannelserKultur- og Sprogmødestudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato20 jun. 2012


  • Middle class
  • China
  • Cultural Hegemony
  • Communism
  • Confucianism
  • Identity
  • Power
  • Capitalism