The long-term impact of the Communist Revolution on social stratification in contemporary China
The Chinese Communist Revolution that culminated in the 1949 founding of the People’s Republic of China fundamentally transformed class relations in China. With data from a nationally representative, longitudinal survey between 2010 and 2016, this study documents the long-term impact of the Communist Revolution on the social stratification order in today’s China, more than 6 decades after the revolution. True to its stated ideological missions, the revolution resulted in promoting the social status of children of the peasant, worker, and revolutionary cadre classes and disadvantaging those who were from privileged classes at the time of the revolution. Although there was a tendency toward “reversion” mitigating the revolution’s effects in the third generation toward the grandparents’ generation in social status, the overall impact of reversion was small. The revolution effects were most pronounced for the birth cohorts immediately following the revolution, attenuating for recently born cohorts.