Four Occupations

Four Occupations

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Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. The four occupations or "four categories of the people" was a hierarchic social class structure developed in ancient China by either Confucian or Legalist scholars as far back as the late Zhou Dynasty and is considered a central part of the Fengjian social structure. In descending order, these were the shi, the nong, the gong, and the shang. These broad categories were more an idealization than a practical reality. This was due to commercialization of Chinese society in the Song and Ming periods, blurring the lines between these four hierarchic social distinctions. The system also did not figure in all other social groups present in premodern Chinese society. The definition of the identity of the shi class changed over time as well, from an ancient warrior caste, to an aristocratic scholarly elite, and finally to a bureaucratic scholarly elite with less emphasis on archaic noble lineage. There was also a gradual fusion of the wealthy merchant and landholding gentry classes, culminating in the late Ming Dynasty.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 168 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 10mm | 254g
  • Equ Press
  • United States
  • English
  • 6134990078
  • 9786134990073