Skip to main content

The Demography of Chinese Nationalism: A Field-Experimental Approach

  • Robert Hoffmann (a1) and Jeremy Larner (a2)

Empirical evidence concerning the demographics and development of Chinese nationalism is sparse but important for scholarship and policy. Its collection entails methodological challenges in access and reliability. We conducted a field experiment to measure nationalism in incentive-compatible choices among a diverse group of 447 Chinese subjects in a field setting. Our results demonstrate greater nationalism in female, older, less affluent and more rural respondents. We also find support for nationalism in professional and educated individuals. Our results provide qualified support for a middle-class nationalism in China.

Corresponding author
Email (corresponding author).
Hide All
Bertrand, Marianne, and Mullainathan, Sendhil. 2001. “Do people mean what they say? Implications for subjective survey data.” American Economic Review (Papers and Proceedings) 91 (2), 6772.
Campos, Julia, Ericsson, Neil R. and Hendry, David F. (eds.). 2005. General-to-Specific Modelling. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Dong, Lily, and Tian, Kelly. 2009. “The use of Western brands in asserting Chinese national identity.” Journal of Consumer Research 36 (3), 504523.
Fong, Vanessa. 2004Filial nationalism among Chinese teenagers with global identities.” American Ethnologist 31(4), 631648.
Friedman, Edward. 1996. “A democratic Chinese nationalism?” In Unger, Jonathan (ed.), Chinese Nationalism. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 169182.
Gries, Peter H. 2004. China's New Nationalism: Pride, Politics, and Diplomacy. Ewing, NJ: University of California Press.
Harrison, Glenn W., and List, John A.. 2004. “Field experiments.” Journal of Economic Literature 42 (4), 1009–055.
Hsu, Jane Lu, and Nien, Hang-Peng. 2008Who are ethnocentric? Examining consumer ethnocentrism in Chinese societies.” Journal of Consumer Behaviour 7 (6), 436447.
Hui, C. Harry, and Triandis, Harry C.. 1986. “Individualism-collectivism: a study of cross-cultural researchers.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 17, 225248.
Johnston, Alastair I. 2004. “Chinese middle class attitudes towards international affairs: nascent liberalization?The China Quarterly 179, 603628.
Kosterman, Rick, and Feshbach, Seymour. 1989. “Toward a measure of patriotic and nationalistic attitudes.” Political Psychology 10 (2), 257274.
Lam, Tong. 2000. “Identity and diversity: the complexities and contradictions of Chinese nationalism.” In Timothy Weston, B. and Jensen, Lionel M. (eds.), China Beyond the Headlines. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 147170.
Liew, Leong H., and Smith, Doug. 2004. “The nexus between nationalism, democracy and national integration.” In Liew, Leong H. and Wang, Shaoguang (eds.), Nationalism, Democracy and National Integration in China. London: Routledge Curzon, 320.
McDonald, Melissa M., Asher, Benjamin D., Kerr, Norbert L. and David Navarrete, Carlos. 2011. “Fertility and intergroup bias in racial and minimal-group contexts.” Psychological Science 22(7), 860–65.
Pye, Lucian W. 1996. “How China's nationalism was Shanghaied.” In Unger, Jonathan (ed.), Chinese Nationalism. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 86112.
Ramet, Sabrina Petra. 1996. “Nationalism and the ‘idiocy’ of the countryside: the case of Serbia.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 19 (1), 7087.
Shen, Simon. 2007. Redefining Nationalism in Modern China: Sino-American Relations and the Emergence of Chinese Public Opinion in the 21st Century. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Shi, Tianjian. 2000. “Cultural values and democracy in the People's Republic of China.” The China Quarterly 162, 540559.
Skitka, Linda J. 2005. “Patriotism or nationalism? Understanding post-September 11, 2001, flag-display behavior.” Journal of Applied Social Psychology 35 (10), 19952011.
Suh, Taewon, and Kwon, Ik-Whan G.. 2002. “Globalization and reluctant buyers.” International Marketing Review 19(6), 663680.
Todosijevíc, Bojan. 2004. “Nationalism and socialist ideology: the case of Yugoslavia.” In Kovács, Maria M. and Lom, Petr (eds.), Studies on Nationalism. Budapest: Central European University, 219236.
Wang, Jing. 2008. Brand New China – Advertising, Media, and Commercial Culture. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Zhang, Kevin Honglin, and Song, Shunfeng. 2003. “Rural–urban migration and urbanization in China: evidence from time-series and cross-section analyses.” China Economic Review 14, 386400.
Zhao, Dingxin. 2002. “An angle on nationalism in China today: attitudes among Beijing students after Belgrade 1999.” The China Quarterly 172, 885905.
Zhao, Suisheng. 2004. A Nation-State by Construction: Dynamics of Modern Chinese Nationalism. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The China Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0305-7410
  • EISSN: 1468-2648
  • URL: /core/journals/china-quarterly
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 11
Total number of PDF views: 216 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 443 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 16th August 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.