Organized Panel Session
This panel explores change and continuity in the composition of social elites in modern China and Korea. China and Korea experienced numerous transformations in the first half of the 20th century, including novel economic, social and political changes. While the traditional elites sought to maintain their status, these changes created opportunities for the emergence of a new elites. The presentations in this panel take a big data approach to examine the role in the emergence of such new elites as the opening of tertiary education to women, a rise in the number of students studying abroad, change and continuity of land inheritance practice, and strategies for status reproduction among elite families in China and Korea. For China, the databases used include the China University Student Dataset-Republic of China (CUSD-ROC), which collects 150,000 individual undergraduate student records from 27 universities between 1912 and 1953, the China University Student Dataset-PhD (CUSD-PhD), which records 4697 Chinese post-tertiary students who studied overseas for a PhD during the first half of the twentieth century, and the China Workforce Dataset - Republic of China/People’s Republic of China (CWFD-ROC/PRC). For Korea, databases are constructed from land registers, household removal records, and the genealogies of the elite families from which many prominent figures of the early twentieth century were drawn. Collectively, the four presentations will present a picture of change and continuity in the composition of elites during a period of rapid transition in the first half of the 20th century.