Rural-Urban Inequality in Contemporary China Essay

Rural-Urban Inequality in Contemporary China Essay

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-- The Summary of the Reading Materials:
  The PRC hukou system, whose formal name is “huji” system, institutionally divides and organizes the Chinese people. To fully appreciate the significance of the hukou system, however, is not easy, even though many, especially those who have lived under the system, can vividly and endlessly attest its mighty presence. For it extensively and powerfully affects almost every aspect of the Chinese society and way of life. In this process, the hukou system tends to generate multifaceted, sometimes even contradictory and conflicting effects on China’s politics, economy, and social life.In politics,the PRC hukou system established stability, authoritarianism, and Elite Class. In economics, the hukou system has allowed the PRC to circumvent the Lewis Transition (also known as Lewis turning point, made in 1968 by Lewis, describes with the growth of rural economic , cheap labor after being fully absorbed, their wages will rise significantly. Lewis displayed with this theory of industrialization and urbanization are the best means to combat rural poverty) and hence to enjoy rapid economic growth and technological sophistication in a dual economy with the existence of massive surplus labor, however, the hukou system has created tremendous irrationalities, imbalances, and waste in the Chinese economy and barriers to further development of the Chinese market. At the same time, the PRC hukou system has generated a regionally uneven development and spatial inequality, such as the capita income gap, legal minimum wages, the amount of Welfare Pay. The PRC hukou system made a horizontal stratification in social life: Chinese culture, social stratification, and social norms and values have all d...

... middle of paper ...

... new resources to finally overcome the wide cleavage between rural and urban that has characterized Chinese society since the 1950s, only a sketchy overview pf some the initiatives will be presented.
  Unlike population registration systems in many other countries, the PRC hukou system was designed not merely to provide population statistics and identify personal status, but also directly to regulate population distribution and serve many other important objectives desired by the state. In fact, the hukou system is one of the major tools of social control employed by the state. Its functions go far beyond simply controlling population mobility. Through nearly fifty-year’s development, the PRC hukou system constituted rural-urban inequality in contemporary China, which has been bringing profound influences on Chinese politics, economics, and social life.

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