Scaling the socioeconomic ladder : Uyghur perceptions of class status

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1029-1043
Journal / PublicationJournal of Contemporary China
Issue number78
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


This paper asks: do most Uyghurs perceive themselves to be middle class or lower class? What are the major determinants of their perceptions? Data are drawn from a 2007 survey (N 1/4 900) conducted in Ü rümchi in China. This paper focuses on individualized and subjective hierarchical differentiation and reports three main findings about class identity among Uyghurs. Firstly, class identity is not closely linked to occupational attainment and income among Uyghurs. However, education is a key determinant of Uyghur class identification. Secondly, psychological well-being measures are not predictors of the choice of class label by Uyghurs. Thirdly, ethnic consciousness is closely related to class identification among Uyghurs, holding main background characteristics constant. Uyghurs give more attention to their group concerns (discrimination, prejudices, intergroup inequality, etc.) than to their individual worries (such as unemployment or stress) when choosing a class label. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.