This book is a best seller in China in 2004 (translated from the Chinese edition published by Social Sciences Documentation Publishing House, Beijing, China, 2004), which is the result of a six-year (1998~2004) research project of the Research Group for Social Structure in Contemporary China with the Institute of Sociology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), the top think tank for the central government of China. It presents analyses of social stratification and social mobility in contemporary China based on two nationwide on-site questionnaire surveys conducted by the research group among 11,000 people covering 10 provinces and among 6,000 respondents covering 73 counties and cities in 12 provinces respectively. It is the first nationwide study on social mobility in modern China and has drawn great attention around the world as well as some controversies in academia. The study focuses on three aspects. First, it comprehensively investigates major socio-political changes and relevant policy adjustments over the past fifty years since 1949 and their influences on social stratification and social mobility. Second, it provides detailed description about the developing process, characteristics, and future trends of the overall social structure in modern China from the perspective of social mobility. Third, it conducts a comparative study on the paths, mechanisms, rates, barriers, and opportunities of social mobility of ten major social strata in modern China in an effort to judge the overall direction of social structure transition in modern China. In addition, this book also provides a huge body of reliable data concerning people in different classes of modern Chinese society with various standards of living, income conditions, occupational choices, life styles, consumption patterns, educational backgrounds, and psychological and behavioral characteristics.