Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Catherine Berheide

Second Advisor

Andrew Lindner


Sociological interest in post-reform China has burgeoned since sociologists such as Victor Nee and Andrew Walder had initiated a debate of whether the market transition of former socialist countries benefit the direct producers of the market rather than political elites. Informed by the market transition debate, stratification theories, and intergenerational mobility studies, this study aims to examine whether under the party-state political structure, ruling party membership is a substantial exogenous source of social class stratification. Data in this study is drawn from the 2013 Chinese General Social Survey (n = 2,209). The ordinary least square (OLS) regression suggests that for non-institutionalized Chinese adults who are born during the reform era (1978 -2013), their parents' Chinese Communist Party membership is a statistically significant factor in determining their social class measured by their income and education, when holding constant sex, age, region, urbanity, and ethnicity. This study contributes to the sociological understanding of how political institutions shape individual socio-economic status and how state intervention perpetuates or diminishes social inequality on the individual level.