The formation and characteristics of a nation’s middle class are shaped by historical context and the developmental path that has been followed. However, can the same be said of the ethnic Chinese middle classes in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, and Macao? Given the divergent political and economic experiences under which the respective middle classes were created, established, shaped, and reshaped, can they still be characterized as a homogenous group of ‘Chinese middle classes’, or are they more unique within each country?

Using systematic survey data analysis and case studies to examine and compare the emerging middle classes in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and Urban China, this book explores whether the middle classes in these countries possess any uniquely ‘Chinese’ features, or if these are shared attributes that can be found in other non-Chinese middle classes in the Asia-Pacific region. It analyses the formation, profile, culture, lifestyles, mobility, and politics of the middle class groups in each country, and highlights the differences and similarities that emerge, and focuses in particular on increased mobility, financial resilience, class anxiety, and political interest and effectiveness.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars interested in Asian middle classes, Chinese studies, Chinese societies, Chinese ethnicity and Chinese politics.

part 1|13 pages


chapter 1|11 pages

Characterizing the middle classes in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and urban China

ByHsin-Huang Michael Hsiao

part 2|80 pages

Changing Profiles

chapter 2|19 pages

Profiling the middle classes in Taiwan today

ByMing-Chang Tsai, Gang-Hua Fan, Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao, Hong-Zen Wang

chapter 3|21 pages

A profile of Hong Kong's middle classes

Continuities and discontinuities
ByTai-Lok Lui

chapter 4|21 pages

Profiling the middle classes in Macao today1

ByPo-San Wan, Kenneth W.K. Law

chapter 5|17 pages

A profile of the middle classes in Today's china

ByChunling Li

part 3|59 pages

Emerging ethos and lifestyles

chapter 6|13 pages

Getting uneasy

The changing psychology of Hong Kong's middle classes
ByTai-Lok Lui

chapter 7|22 pages

Comparing socio-economic attitudes of the middle classes in Taiwan and Hong Kong

ByHsin-Huang Michael Hsiao, Po-San Wan

chapter 8|22 pages

Homemaking and middle class formation in urban China

ByShuo Liu

part 4|57 pages


chapter 9|23 pages

Taiwanese middle classes in Shanghai

Causes and consequences of skilled migration
ByYen-Fen Tseng

chapter 10|16 pages

Professional mainlanders in Hong Kong

Profile, prospect and problem1
ByVictor Zheng, Siu-Lun Wong, Cangbai Wang

chapter 11|16 pages

Reality and expectations

Social mobility of the Macao middle classes1
ByPo-San Wan, Kenneth W.K. Law

part 5|48 pages

New politics?

chapter 12|19 pages

The political ambiguity of middle class activism in Taiwan

The case of urban conservationists in Kaohsiung city
ByMing-Sho Ho

chapter 13|15 pages

The emergence of middle classes in today's urban China

Will they contribute to democratization in China?
ByShigeto Sonoda

chapter 14|12 pages

The making of Hong Kong's middle class in the 1997 transition and beyond

A conflict perspective
ByAlvin Y. So