bourgeois families

NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
Does "bourgeois families" simply mean "middle-class families"?

Thanks in advance

**********************
<...>During the 1980s and 1990s, the students were mainly Americans, but in the new millennium, Harvard, like other US schools, began to admit undergraduates from China.<...>
Since most of the Harvard cohort of Chinese undergraduates are from bourgeois families, their relatives are unlikely to have escaped involvement in the Cultural Revolution: either they were beaten up, had their houses trashed, their books burned, their valuables confiscated, or they were among the beaters and looters.

-Roderick MacFarquhar (Harvard professor)

Source (PDF)
 
  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Bourgeois is primarily a term of Socialist or Marxist rhetoric, and I think this particularly references the fact or perception that the "bourgeois" were a group specially victimized during the Cultural Revolution.
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    What is puzzling to me is that the author said the undergraduates came to Harvard in the new millennium. That implies that they might be sons and daughters of Chinese officials - or commies, rather than Marx's "bourgeois."
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I think his point is that the people coming to study here are not usually the children of poor villagers from rural areas. They are from families with some amount of wealth or power or status and more likely to be from cities. And he is saying those are the types of families who suffered during the Cultural Revolution (or inflicted the suffering).
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I fear it will sound like we are trying to teach you Chinese history, but ... The assumption is that people from educated (city) families were both (as radical students eager to distance themselves from the "bourgeoisie") the main agents of the Cultural Revolution and (as "bourgeois") its main victims; but they also tended to be the people who prospered in the 90s (not necessarily within the Party), and who since then have had the chance to travel the world. All these changes passed the (mainly rural) working class by.

    This rather glosses over the question of whether the rural peasants actually starved in much greater numbers than the "bourgeoisie" who were sent to live in the country.
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top