When his home becomes a house

Posted: May 4th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: real-estate | Tags: , | No Comments »

In current Chinese society, house is no longer merely a sweet place for family being together, but also a vital representation of one’s social status. As Zhang (2008) points out, the stratification of urban residential space provides a tangible place for people to seek status recognition and create their cultural milieu. As the new rich in China succeed economically, they still lack a sense of social insecurity and yearn for respect from others. Therefore through the consumption of private property, the invisible socioeconomic differences are externalized. Besides a demonstration of one’s wealth, spatial location is also considered as an implication of one’s lifestyle and taste, at least that what real estate advertising tells people.


Zhang, Li (2008) ‘Private Homes, Distinct Lifestyles: Performing a New Middle Class’, in Li Zhang and Aihwa Ong (eds) Privatizing China: Socialism from Afar, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, pp. 23-40.

Living Space=Social Class?

Posted: March 29th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: real-estate | Tags: , | No Comments »

In her article ‘private homes, distinct lifestyles’, Li Zhang said that the rise of the commercial real estate industry in China is vital to the formation of a ‘new urban middle-class’ culture. On the one hand, the private homeownership reflects class difference to some extent, as Li Zhang said, an ‘index of status’. On the other hand, a ‘class milieu’ is also being created and influenced by the privatization of living space. I agree with her argument that in China nowadays, there has not emerged a distinct class culture shared by those so-called ‘middle class’ in economic aspect. Class making in China will be a ‘long and confusing’ process.