Sociology Sociological Research on the Chinese Society
by
Xueguang Zhou
  • LAST MODIFIED: 21 November 2012
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756384-0107

Introduction

The sociology of China is part of an interdisciplinary field that examines different aspects of Chinese society. There have been noticeable changes in both research focus and research styles over time in this field. Earlier studies were characteristic of “area studies” and appeared mostly in area studies journals or in books aimed at readers in that particular field. Since the late 1980s, major work in the sociology of China in the English-language literature has appeared in sociological journals, informed by and integrated in mainstream sociological research. Research tends to be divided according to historical eras in contemporary China, noticeably the Mao era, from the inception of the People’s Republic in 1949 to the late 1970s, and the post-Mao era (or the era of economic reform) since the 1980s. Many studies compare and contrast changes across these two periods. Two features characterize this bibliography on the sociology of China. First, because of the interdisciplinary nature of Chinese studies, selected publications from other disciplines (e.g., anthropology, political science, economics, and history) are included that have a significant overlap in topics and/or a significant impact on sociological research on China. Second, also included are a significant number of studies published in Chinese. Although sociology is a young discipline in China, Chinese sociologists have made significant contributions in particular areas because of their sustained, close observations and sense making.

General Overviews

China is vast and multifaceted, and it has undergone tremendous changes in its modern history. No comprehensive overview presently exists that can do justice to the complexity of Chinese society. The works included here focus on different aspects of Chinese society or on scholarship in particular fields. Chan, et al. 2009 and Davis 2000 offer glimpses into changes in rural and urban life in China. Naughton 2007 and Lin, et al. 2003 are two different overviews of the Chinese economy under transformation. Finally, Ying, et al. 2011 is the best collection of key research in Chinese sociology from the 1940s to the present.

  • Chan, Anita, Richard Madsen, and Jonathan Unger. 2009. Chen village: Revolution to globalization. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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    The authors trace drastic changes in one village in southern China, from collectivization, political turmoil, and campaigns in the Mao era, through the early reform era of decollectivization, to the most recent era of globalization, when the village has become a manufacturing site for the export industry. A vivid portrait in microcosm of social changes in rural China over the sixty-year history of the People’s Republic.

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    • Davis, Deborah, ed. 2000. The consumer revolution in urban China. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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      Given the tremendous changes in urban life in the reform era, there are relatively few studies of everyday life in contemporary urban China. This edited volume offers glimpses into different aspects of urban life in the era of rapid economic growth and what the editor deftly labels “the consumer revolution.” Topics range from housing, children’s education, weddings, and food, to manners of sociability through greeting cards, bowling, dancing, and other colorful images of a gilded era.

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      • Lin, Justin Yifu, Fang Cai, and Zhou Li. 2003. The China miracle: Development strategy and economic reform. Rev. ed. Hong Kong: Chinese Univ. Press.

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        Similar in scope and overlapping in topics with Naughton 2007, this is an introduction to China’s economic reforms and developmental strategies by a group of Chinese economists, reflecting an official view of the trajectory of change in economic institutions and policies in the People’s Republic of China.

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        • Naughton, Barry. 2007. The Chinese economy: Transitions and growth. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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          A comprehensive, authoritative overview of the Chinese economy under transformation and the path of institutional changes in the reform era, drawing on extensive research in the English-language literature.

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          • Ying Xing 应星, Zhou Feizhou 周飞舟, and Qu Jingdong 渠敬东. 2011. Zhongguo she hui xue wen xuan (中国社会学文选). Beijing: Zhongguo ren min da xue chu ban she.

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            The most comprehensive, authoritative selection of representative sociological work in Chinese sociology, from the 1940s to the present, including both classics on the making and crises of traditional Chinese society and contemporary work on social transformation in the past three decades.

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            Earlier Works

            In different ways, the studies cited in this section have had important, lasting impacts on our understanding of Chinese society. These studies view the subject through a long historical lens. Fei 1992, first published in the 1940s, is the classic on the characteristics of Chinese peasant society. Spence 1999, Duara 1988, and Huang 1990 provide broader historical contexts and processes from which modern Chinese society has emerged. Skinner 1964 develops an influential model of the regional, hierarchical marketing system in traditional China. Parish and Whyte 1978 and Whyte and Parish 1984 describe and analyze rural and urban China in the Mao era. Madsen 1984 is a rare look into the moral life of Chinese peasants.

            • Duara, Prasenjit. 1988. Culture, power, and the state: Rural north China, 1900–1942. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press.

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              This work develops theoretical arguments on the cultural nexus of power that links village gentry and local bureaucrats to the central authority of the state. It casts new light on state making and nation building in modern China at the critical historical juncture of the early 20th century.

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              • Fei, Xiaotong. 1992. From the soil: The foundations of Chinese society; A translation of Fei Xiaotong’s Xiangtu zhongguo. Translated with introduction and epilogue by Gary G. Hamilton and Wang Zheng. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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                This early portrait of traditional China, first published in 1947, has had a lasting impact on our understanding of the Chinese way of life. The concept of “the differential mode of association” developed here is still widely discussed and used to characterize social relations in Chinese culture.

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                • Huang, Philip C. 1990. The peasant family and rural development in the Yangzi Delta, 1350–1988. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press.

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                  In this ambitious and controversial book, the author traces more than six centuries of the evolution of family farming in a historically developed region of China and argues that the concentration of household labor in agriculture led to diminishing marginal returns and a process of involution in Chinese history. This argument is extended to interpret the collectivization era under Mao and more recent decollectivization of farming under the reform policy.

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                  • Madsen, Richard. 1984. Morality and power in a Chinese village. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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                    Based on ethnographic observations and interviews, this book offers a rare glimpse into the deeper spiritual life of rural China. The author meticulously records and examines the symbols and rhetoric used in conversations and interactions among villagers and provides a finely shaded portrait of moral life and language in a Chinese village, which is a mixture of traditional values, Mao’s doctrines, and rational utilitarianism.

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                    • Parish, William L., and Martin King Whyte. 1978. Village and family in contemporary China. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                      An early, comprehensive introduction to different aspects of rural life in the Mao era, from 1949 to the late 1970s. Drawing on interviews of émigrés from China to Hong Kong, the two authors provide a systematic portrait of politically based social stratification, institutions of the commune, such as the work-point system, marriage, and family life, as well as variations across villages.

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                      • Skinner, G. William. 1964. Marketing and social structure in rural China: Part I. Journal of Asian Studies 24:3–43.

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                        In this first of a seminal series of articles, Skinner develops his model of the rural hierarchical marketing system in traditional China that has provided a theoretical framework to analyze and understand patterns of economic transactions in traditional China.

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                        • Spence, Jonathan D. 1999. The search for modern China. New York: W. W. Norton.

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                          This trilogy provides a broad synthesis of large historical patterns of continuity and change in the last four centuries, from the Chinese empire of the late Ming and Qing dynasties, to the Republican era, to the era of the People’s Republic.

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                          • Whyte, Martin King, and William L. Parish. 1984. Urban life in contemporary China. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                            A companion volume to Parish and Whyte 1978; focuses on urban life in the Mao era. The authors examine a wide range of topics, from the distribution of resources, social inequality, family life, and residential organization, to political activities and the organization of urban life by the Chinese bureaucracy. Urban life in China is contrasted with that in the Soviet Union, the United States, and other parts of the world.

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                            Journals

                            Sociological research on China appears in various sociological journals. Listed here are several China-focused journals that publish interdisciplinary research on China. China Quarterly is the oldest and most authoritative journal in this field. China Journal and Modern China are the other two leading journals in this field. Management and Organization Review and Chinese Sociological Review are two more recent, specialty journals in their respective field. Journal of Sociological Research and Chinese Journal of Sociology are the two leading sociological journals in China. Social Sciences in China is the top journal for social science disciplines and regularly publishes sociological research.

                            Social Stratification and Inequality

                            Social stratification and inequality is a central arena of sociological inquiry, and also the most productive field in the sociology of China since the 1980s. Most studies focus on changes in patterns and mechanisms of social stratification and mobility between the Mao era and the post-Mao era.

                            Market Transition Debate

                            Nee 1989 proposed a market transition theory and has stimulated active research on mechanisms of social stratification and assessment of relative gains and losses among social groups in the era of economic reform. This debate provided a critical opportunity to introduce studies of Chinese society into mainstream sociology. A 1996 symposium covered in the American Journal of Sociology collected several important pieces of research and commentary on this debate. In subsequent studies, Lin 1995 highlighted the role of social networks, Bian and Logan 1996 and Zhou 2000 emphasized the role of political institutions, and Wu and Xie 2003 discussed changes in labor market composition over time. All these studies were developed in light of and in dialogue with the market transition theory.

                            • Bian, Yanjie, and John R. Logan. 1996. Market transition and the persistence of power: The changing stratification system in urban China. American Sociological Review 61:739–758.

                              DOI: 10.2307/2096451Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                              In a critique of Nee’s market transition theory, the authors examine changes in the determinants of income distribution in a large Chinese city and find that those associated with state bureaucracies continued to benefit from their positions, leading to the persistence of political power in China’s economic reform.

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                              • Lin, Nan. 1995. Local market socialism: Local corporatism in action in rural China. Theory and Society 24:301–354.

                                DOI: 10.1007/BF00993350Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                Based on a detailed analysis of the kinship-based social networks in a Chinese village, Lin emphasizes the importance of stable social relations as the basis to allow the simultaneous and coordinated incorporation of markets and collective mechanisms in governance, which induces a path of change different from that predicted by the market transition theory.

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                                • Nee, Victor. 1989. A theory of market transition: From redistribution to markets in state socialism. American Sociological Review 54:663–681.

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                                  Nee’s seminal article develops a “market transition” theory that boldly predicts significant changes in patterns of social stratification as China shifts from a planned economy to a market economy, arguing that the redistributors will lose their status and benefits relative to the producers, as political power is being eroded by market forces.

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                                  • Symposium on market transition. 1996. American Journal of Sociology 101.4: 908–1096.

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                                    Papers from this symposium feature Nee’s recent work as well as studies by Yu Xie and Emily Hunnam, and David Stark on assessment of market transitions in China and in eastern Europe. Also included in this special section of the journal are extended commentaries by Parish and Michelson, Walder, Szelenyi, and Fligstein, among others, on how to interpret economic reform in China.

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                                    • Wu, Xiaogang, and Yu Xie. 2003. Does the market pay off? Earnings returns to education in urban China. American Sociological Review 68:425–442.

                                      DOI: 10.2307/1519731Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                      In light of the market transition debate, the authors show that those who enter the market in different phases (early vs. later entrants) have received differential returns to education across the state and market sector. On this basis, the authors argue that it is the sorting processes in labor markets, not marketization per se, that explains these sectoral differentials in returns to education.

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                                      • Zhou, Xueguang. 2000. Economic transformation and income inequality in urban China: Evidence from panel data. American Journal of Sociology 105:1135–1174.

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                                        This study develops a model of coevolution between markets and the state, and argues that the interaction between the two may generate more complex patterns of social stratification in which those with positional power can enjoy benefits from market transactions. Findings from the analysis of panel data of income determinants in urban China are consistent with this line of argument.

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                                        Stratification and Mobility Patterns over Time

                                        Readings in this subsection cover broad topics on patterns of social stratification and inequality, especially the role of political mechanisms and socialist institutions that shaped life chances in contemporary China. Bian 2002 provides an overview of research activities in this area. The key characteristic of the social (de)stratification in the Mao era is best captured in Parish 1984. Walder 1992 emphasizes the importance of stable socialist institutions in social inequality, whereas Zhou, et al. 1996 points to the role of shifting state policies in individual life chances. Wu and Treiman 2004 and Wang 2008 examine the institutional basis of social inequality. Li 2005 highlights the salient inverted-T-shaped pattern of social stratification, and Shen 2006 calls attention to the emerging working-class formation in the reform era.

                                        • Bian, Yanjie. 2002. Chinese social stratification and social mobility. Annual Review of Sociology 28:91–116.

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                                          A systematic review of the English-language research literature on social stratification and mobility in the post-Mao era, the most productive area in the sociology of China since the 1980s.

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                                          • Li Qiang 李强. 2005. “Ding Zi Xing” shehui jiegou yu “jiezhou jinzhang” (“丁字形” 社会结构与 “结构紧张”). Shehuixue yanjiu (社会学研究) 2:55–73.

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                                            Based on China’s 2000 census data and using the “international socioeconomic index,” this study shows an inverted-T-shaped structure of social stratification, with the majority of the population at the bottom and the small proportion of middle and upper strata at the top. The author regards this pattern as the major source of structural strains in China’s reform era.

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                                            • Parish, William L. 1984. Destratification in China. In Class and social stratification in post-revolution China. Edited by J. Watson, 84–120. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                              A seminal piece that highlights “destratification,” or the egalitarian policy, as the key feature of the pattern of social inequality in the Mao era.

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                                              • Shen Yuan 沈原. 2006. Shehui zhuanxing yu gongren jieji de zai xingcheng (社会转型与工人阶级的再形成). Shehuixue yanjiu (社会学研究) 2:13–36.

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                                                This is one of the few studies that explicitly adopt a Marxist approach and focus on the historical fate of the working class and those at the bottom of the society in China’s transformation. It advocates that the study of migrant workers from rural China be placed in the theoretical framework of the reproduction of the working class in China’s emerging market economy.

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                                                • Walder, Andrew G. 1992. Property rights and stratification in socialist redistributive economies. American Sociological Review 57:524–539.

                                                  DOI: 10.2307/2096099Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  This is an early effort to develop theoretical arguments on the link between state socialist institutions, especially different types of work organizations, and patterns of social inequality in China under the planned economy.

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                                                  • Wang, Feng. 2008. Boundaries and categories: Rising inequality in post-socialist urban China. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press.

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                                                    Drawing on large samples in three provinces between 1986 and 2000, this book examines patterns of change in economic inequality across regions and over time, emphasizing the role of political and social institutions (e.g., work units, residential locations) in engendering and sustaining patterns of social inequality.

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                                                    • Wu, Xiaogang, and Donald J. Treiman. 2004. The household registration system and social stratification in China: 1955–1996. Demography 41:363–384.

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                                                      The household registration system (the hukou system) has been the most important divide in social inequality between urban and rural populations in China. Using a 1996 national sample, this study examines the determinants of the shift of one’s hukou status from rural to urban areas as an important channel of upward mobility.

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                                                      • Zhou, Xueguang, Nancy B. Tuma, and Phyllis Moen. 1996. Stratification dynamics under state socialism: The case of urban China, 1949–1993. Social Forces 74:759–796.

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                                                        This study develops a theoretical argument on the role of political dynamics and shifting state policies, relative to stable social origins, that exert significant, differential impacts on individuals’ life chances and over different stages of the life course.

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                                                        Career Mobility

                                                        The centrality of political order in organizing China has stimulated sociological research on the career mobility of bureaucrats and managers in Chinese governments. Political scientists and economists also contribute to this line of research in their own disciplines. Walder 1995 and Walder, et al. 2000 examine the link between bureaucratic promotion and the political order in state socialist China. Zhao and Zhou 2004 focuses on promotion patterns in different types of organizations. Zang 2001 emphasizes the role of educational credentials in elite mobility. Li and Bachman 1989 considers elite mobility in the large municipalities. Li and Zhou 2005 and Landry 2008 are two recent efforts to place elite mobility in the larger picture of governance strategies in China. Wu 2006 focuses on mobility into the particular area of self-employment.

                                                        • Landry, Pierre F. 2008. Decentralized authoritarianism in China. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                          DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511510243Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                          This book develops theoretical arguments about the effective control of local elites by the higher authorities in post-Mao China. The emphasis is on personnel management, especially in terms of promotions and career trajectories, with systematic empirical data to illustrate these trends and practices in contemporary China.

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                                                          • Li, Cheng, and David Bachman. 1989. Localism, elitism, and immobilism: Elite formation and social change in post-Mao China. World Politics 42:64–94.

                                                            DOI: 10.2307/2010571Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                            This is an early attempt by political scientists to examine patterns of mobility among Chinese elites. Drawing on public data, the authors examined the characteristics of the top leaders in major Chinese cities in terms of their gender, age, education, birthplace, and prior work experience. Situated in the mid-1980s, these patterns are linked to signs of localism, elitism, and immobilism in elite mobility.

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                                                            • Li, Hongbin, and Li-An Zhou. 2005. Political turnover and economic performance: The incentive role of personnel control in China. Journal of Public Economics 89:1743–1762.

                                                              DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2004.06.009Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              Drawing on the tournament model of promotion in Chinese bureaucracy, two economists examine how state policies for promoting economic growth have provided strong incentives to the career concerns of the chief officials in local, territorial governments and have led to local officials’ active promotion of GDP growth in their jurisdictions.

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                                                              • Walder, Andrew G. 1995. Career mobility and the Communist political order. American Sociological Review 60:309–328.

                                                                DOI: 10.2307/2096416Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                This study develops the model of a dual career path where the political line rewards political loyalty and the technical line focuses on administrative efficiency. This is an early effort to conceptualize and develop an argument on the political mechanisms underlying the career mobility of cadres and technocrats in contemporary China.

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                                                                • Walder, Andrew G., Bobai Li, and Donald J. Treiman. 2000. Politics and life chances in a state socialist regime: Dual career paths into the urban Chinese elite, 1949 to 1996. American Sociological Review 65:191–209.

                                                                  DOI: 10.2307/2657437Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                  Based on a national sample of life histories conducted in 1996, this study presents a systematic empirical account of the dual career paths of low- and mid-level cadres and technocrats in Chinese organizations.

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                                                                  • Wu, Xiaogang. 2006. Communist cadres and market opportunities: Entry into self-employment in China, 1978–1996. Social Forces 85:389–411.

                                                                    DOI: 10.1353/sof.2006.0149Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                    This study examines how Communist Party members respond to new market opportunities, in their entry into self-employment in urban and rural areas and across different reform stages.

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                                                                    • Zang, Xiaowei. 2001. Educational credentials, elite dualism, and elite stratification in China. Sociological Perspectives 44:189–205.

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                                                                      This study focuses on a more refined examination of the differential role of educational credentials—academic majors and the hierarchy of universities—on mobility patterns among the top Chinese leaders.

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                                                                      • Zhao, Wei, and Xueguang Zhou. 2004. Chinese organizations in transition: Changing promotion patterns in the post-Mao era. Organization Science 15:186–199.

                                                                        DOI: 10.1287/orsc.1030.0046Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                        This study examines the determinants of promotion in Chinese organizations since the 1980s. It is distinctive in its focus on political dynamics (cohort effects) and patterns across different organizational sectors (public, state firm, nonstate firm).

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                                                                        Networks, Social Relations, and Labor Markets

                                                                        Guanxi has been argued to be a distinct form of informal social relations in Chinese society. Research in this area has examined a variety of roles that guanxi plays in job search, group solidarity, and informal authority relationships in workplaces. Yang 1994 is the most comprehensive discussion of the guanxi phenomenon. Yan 1996 reveals the subtleties, meanings, and dynamics of guanxi in a village. Bian 1997 and Guthrie 1998 offer two distinct views on the fate of guanxi in contemporary China, and Gold, et al. 2002 continues this debate.

                                                                        • Bian, Yanjie. 1997. Bringing strong ties back in: Indirect connection, bridges, and job search in China. American Sociological Review 62:266–285.

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                                                                          This study applies the network perspective to study job search in China in the reform era. In contrast to the emphasis on weak ties in the English-language literature, the author calls attention to the salient role of institution-based strong ties in linking individuals to job opportunities.

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                                                                          • Gold, Thomas, Doug Guthrie, and David Wank, eds. 2002. Social connections in China: Institutions, culture, and the changing nature of guanxi. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                            DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511499579Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                            This edited book assembles a dozen articles that approach guanxi from a variety of angles, from its nuanced meanings and conceptual and methodological issues, to the empirical evidence. Contributors engage in the debate on whether the role of guanxi is in decline in China’s move toward a market economy.

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                                                                            • Guthrie, Doug. 1998. The declining significance of guanxi in China’s economic transition. China Quarterly 154:31–62.

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                                                                              This article develops the controversial view that the significance of guanxi in China weakens along with the increase in transactions and interactions based on market mechanisms.

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                                                                              • Yan, Yunxiang. 1996. The flow of gifts: Reciprocity and social networks in a Chinese village. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                Drawing on close observations and personal experience in a Chinese village, Yan documents in vivid detail everyday life intertwined with continuous social exchange, and constructs a classification of exchange behaviors involving items of presentation, types of gift-giving activities, and hierarchical relationships in interactions.

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                                                                                • Yang, Mayfair Mei-hui. 1994. Gifts, favors, and banquets: The art of social relationships in China. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press.

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                                                                                  This is the most comprehensive portrait of guanxi—informal social relations—in contemporary China. The author documents the widespread use of guanxi and the pervasive “gift economy,” from job search, housing, and medical treatment, to business transactions and political interactions.

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                                                                                  The Sociology of the Chinese State

                                                                                  The central role of the state in organizing China has stimulated theoretical and empirical social science research on the Chinese state. Walder 1995 and Oi 1999 emphasize the active role of local governments in promoting economic growth. Shue 1988 highlights the institutional structure by which local cadres and villages can successfully resist state intervention. Friedman, et al. 1991 traces the historical processes of state intervention into rural China and the local response. Huang 2003 is a critique of state macroeconomic policies and financial institutions. Zhou 2007 applies the tournament model to explain incentive design in the Chinese government for promoting economic growth. Zhou 2006 and Qu, et al. 2009 are two efforts by Chinese sociologists to interpret and assess the evolution of the state in the process of economic transformation in recent years.

                                                                                  • Friedman, Edward, Paul G. Pickowicz, and Mark Selden. 1991. Chinese village, socialist state. New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press.

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                                                                                    Through meticulous research, great attention to detail, and a long historical lens, this book traces the historical transformation of a village in northern China, especially how the state intervened in the rural areas, the ensuing political momentum and resistance from the pre-PRC era, and the collectivization era, to the immediate aftermath of the decollectivization era.

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                                                                                    • Huang, Yasheng. 2003. Selling China: Foreign direct investment during the reform era. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                      Focusing on state policies in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) since the 1980s, Huang mounts a relentless critique of the macroeconomic policies of the central government and state bureaucracies. The influx of FDI is argued to have revealed the serious weakness of the domestic economic and financial sectors as well as the failures of economic policies.

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                                                                                      • Oi, Jean. 1999. Rural China takes off: Institutional foundations of economic reform. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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                                                                                        Drawing on extensive field observations and interviews, Oi further elaborates her state corporatism model and examines in greater detail how changes in state policies and institutions of taxation have provided incentives for local officials to play an active role in promoting economic development in their jurisdictions.

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                                                                                        • Qu Jingdong 渠敬东, Zhou Feizhou 周飞舟, and Ying Xing 应星. 2009. Cong zongti zhipei dao jishu zhili (从总体支配到技术治理). Zhongguo shehui kexue (中国社会科学) 6:104–127.

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                                                                                          This article interprets historical changes in state governance as shifting from “total control” to “technical governance” between the Mao era and the reform era. It is particularly informative in shedding light on the processes of muddling through, and the series of reform policies and practices, that led to a significant shift in the mode of governance in contemporary China.

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                                                                                          • Shue, Vivienne. 1988. The reach of the state: Sketches of the Chinese body politic. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                            In a series of essays collected in this volume, Shue questions the conventional view of the Chinese state as exercising effective political control in the Chinese society. Instead, Shue portrays rural governance in the People’s Republic as characteristic of a honeycomb-like cellular structure of social relations that can effectively resist state intervention.

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                                                                                            • Walder, Andrew G. 1995. Local governments as industrial firms: An organizational analysis of China’s transitional economy. American Journal of Sociology 101:263–301.

                                                                                              DOI: 10.1086/230725Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              Contrary to the image of the central government as the owner of state-owned firms, this seminal work develops the argument that local governments are the effective owners of the local enterprises in their jurisdictions, placing the locus of property rights at those levels where local bureaucrats have the incentive and capacities to effectively exercise monitoring and supervising responsibilities.

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                                                                                              • Zhou Feizhou 周飞舟. 2006. Fenshuizhi shinian: Zhidu jiqi yingxiang (分税制十年:制度及其影响). Zhongguo shehuikexue (中国社会科学) 6:100–115.

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                                                                                                This study traces the ten-year history after the reform of taxation policies in the mid-1990s. The author argues that the new tax-sharing system failed to reduce regional variations in fiscal disparity. The new patterns are attributed to the extra-budgetary revenue-seeking behaviors of local officials in response to the new taxation regime.

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                                                                                                • Zhou Li-an 周黎安. 2007. Zhongguo difang guanyuan de jinsheng jinbiaosai moshi yanjiu (中国地方官员的晋升锦标赛模式研究). Jingji yanjiu (经济研究) 7:36–50.

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                                                                                                  Drawing on the tournament theory in economics, Zhou develops a model of political tournament in the Chinese bureaucracy, in which the Chinese state adopts tournament-like promotion policies that induce lateral competition among the officials of local governments to incentivize their pursuit of economic growth in their jurisdictions.

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                                                                                                  Local Bureaucracy and State-Society Relationships

                                                                                                  Sociological research on institutional changes in China has led to close observations and sense making of local government processes and the behaviors of local officials, as well as interactions between local governments and grassroots society. In particular, Chinese sociologists have made important contributions in this area because of their access to local bureaucracy and sustained close observation. Wang, et al. 1997 develops the concept of biantong to highlight local strategies of flexible adaptation. Sun 2000 advocates an analytical approach to focus on “process-events” in order to capture state-society interactions. Ying 2001 traces interactions between local governments and peasants in contentious politics, and Wu 2007 provides rich details on the everyday work experience of a township government. Zhang 2007 and Zhao 2010 examine emerging issues in rural governance in the context of institutional changes in China. Wang and Wang 2009 calls attention to a salient new practice of goal-directed responsibility in local government. Finally, Zhou 2010 examines the institutional logic of collusion among local officials, a salient phenomenon in local government practice.

                                                                                                  • Sun Liping 孙立平. 2000. “Guocheng-shijian fenxi” yu dangdai zhongguo guojia-nongmin guanxi de shijian xingtai (过程-事件分析’与当代中国国家-农民关系的实践形态). Tsinghua shehuixue pinglun teji (清华社会学评论特辑):1–20.

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                                                                                                    This study advocates a shift of analytical focus from the static structure of domination to actual processes consisting of a series of events in order to uncover and decipher the hidden codes of complex and subtle interactions among governments, villages, and peasants and to understand evolving state-society relationships in rural China.

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                                                                                                    • Wang Hansheng 王汉生, Liu Shiding 刘世定, and Sun Liping 孙立平. 1997. Zuowei zhidu yunzuo he zhidu bianqian fangshi de biantong (作为制度运作和制度变迁方式的变通). Zhongguo shehui kexue jikan (Xianggong) (中国社会科学季刊 [香港]) 21:45–68.

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                                                                                                      This article develops the concept of biantong (flexible adaptation) in local governments’ implementation of state policies and in their flexible reworking of institutions to fit local circumstances.

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                                                                                                      • Wang Hansheng 王汉生 and Wang Yige 王一鸽. 2009. Mubiao guanli zerenzhi: Nongcun jiceng zhengquan de shijian luoji (目标管理责任制:农村基层政权的实践逻辑). Shehuixue yanjiu (社会学研究) 2:61–92.

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                                                                                                        This study provides a systematic portrait of the institutional practice of a “goal-directed responsibility system” in local governments by which policy targets are decomposed, priorities set up, and tasks administratively allocated downward across different government levels. A pattern of “downward acceleration of task loads” in the policy emerges from the implementation process.

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                                                                                                        • Wu Yi 吴毅. 2007. Xiaocheng xuanxiao: Yige xiangzhen zhengzhi yunzuo de yanyi yu chanshi (小城喧嚣:一个乡镇政治运作的演绎与阐释). Beijing: Sanlian shushe (北京: 三联书社).

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                                                                                                          This book records, in ethnographic style, the behaviors of township officials in their daily work in response to various state policies, government-sponsored projects, tax collection, land seizure, and conflict resolution at the grassroots level.

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                                                                                                          • Ying Xing 应星. 2001. Dahe yimin shangfang de gushi (大河移民上访的故事). Beijing: Sanlian chubanshe (北京: 三联出版社).

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                                                                                                            Based on year-long participatory observation and archival data, the author traced contentious politics between local government officials and peasants over conflicts involving land seizure. The book provides detailed and informed analysis of interactions between local officials and peasant elites and the multitude of strategies adopted by both sides.

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                                                                                                            • Zhang Jing 张静. 2007. Jiceng zhengquan—xiangcun zhidu zhu wenti (基层政权-乡村制度诸问题). Hangzhou, China: Zhejiang renmin chubanshe (杭州: 浙江人民出版社).

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                                                                                                              An informed and in-depth overview and discussion of issues and practice in local governance at village and township levels. Topics include basis of authority, taxation and public goods provision, and village governance, among others.

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                                                                                                              • Zhao Shukai 赵树凯. 2010. Xiangzhen zhili yu zhengfu zhiduhua (乡镇治理与政府制度化). Beijing: Shangwu yinshuguan (北京: 商务印书馆).

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                                                                                                                Based on extensive interviews and participatory observations across different regions and over many years, this study provides a rich and authoritative account and somber analysis of township government behaviors in the 21th century—their interactions with supervising agencies, their coping strategies in response to directives imposed in the top-down process, and their daily work and attention distribution.

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                                                                                                                • Zhou, Xueguang. 2010. The institutional logic of collusion among local governments in China. Modern China 36:47–78.

                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1177/0097700409347970Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  Originally published in Chinese, this study develops theoretical arguments regarding the pervasive collusion between local bureaucrats and their immediate supervisors in response to top-down policy implementation and inspections in the Chinese bureaucracy. Such behavior is rooted in the institutional logic of the Chinese bureaucracy in order to resolve tensions between centralized policymaking and local adaptation to varied circumstances.

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                                                                                                                  Social Movements and Collective Action

                                                                                                                  Social movements and contentious politics shed light on important issues such as group boundaries, institutional bases of politics, and state-society relationships. Zhou 1993 and Zhao 2001 develop theoretical explanations of uninstitutionalized collective action in contemporary China. O’Brien and Li 2006, Michelson 2007, and Zhe 2008 describe and interpret contentious politics and social mobilization in the rural areas. Cai 2010, Lee 2007, and Feng 2006 address broader issues of contentious politics in the reform era, especially in urban areas.

                                                                                                                  • Cai, Yongshun. 2010. Collective resistance in China: Why popular protests succeed or fail. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                    Drawing on his fieldwork and secondary sources on a range of social groups—from peasants to workers to homeowners—Cai examines the widespread social protest and resistance in China, and explains why some collective actions succeed while others fail.

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                                                                                                                    • Feng Shizheng 冯仕政. 2006. Danwei fenge yu jiti kangzheng (单位分割与集体抗争). Shehuixue yanjiu (社会学研究) 3:98–134.

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                                                                                                                      Using a national survey data, the author examines relationships between work organizations (danwei) and forms of collective action. The findings show that boundaries of work units have a significant effect in segmenting and inhibiting the rise of collective action across organizations. In particular, the heterogeneity of work units induces variation in the forms of collective action and resistance.

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                                                                                                                      • Lee, Ching Kwan. 2007. Against the law: Labor protests in China’s rustbelt and sunbelt. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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                                                                                                                        This study contrasts two distinct patterns of social contention between China’s traditional state industries and the new developmental zone in southern China, and reveals different bases of legitimate claims in social mobilization in an increasingly disparate China undergoing uneven transformation.

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                                                                                                                        • Michelson, Ethan. 2007. Climbing the dispute pagoda: Grievances and appeals to the official justice system in rural China. American Sociological Review 72:459–485.

                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1177/000312240707200307Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          Based on a social survey of villages in rural China, this study examines the causes and means of resolution for different types of grievances and conflicts in rural China. The study uncovers noticeable regional differences as well as considerable variation in family resources in sheltering from and resolving such grievances and conflicts.

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                                                                                                                          • O’Brien, Kevin J., and Lianjiang Li. 2006. Rightful resistance in rural China. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511791086Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                            Drawing on interviews and fieldwork, the authors develop the concept of “rightful resistance” to characterize contentious politics in rural China that takes the everyday forms of resistance but makes use of official rhetoric, legal rights, and other symbolic resources to resist and challenge the abuse of power by local officials.

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                                                                                                                            • Zhao, Dingxin. 2001. The power of Tiananmen: State-society relations and the 1989 Beijing student movement. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                                                                                              This is the most authoritative and comprehensive sociological study of the 1989 Beijing student movement, an in-depth analysis of the dynamics of state-society relationships in the reform era, in light of challenges to state legitimacy, ecology-based student mobilization, and the constraints of choices available to government officials.

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                                                                                                                              • Zhe Xiaoye 折晓叶. 2008. Hezuo yu fei duikang xing dizhi: Ruozhe de “ren wuqi.” (合作与非对抗性抵制: 弱者的“韧武器”). Shehuixue yanjiu (社会学研究) 3:1–28.

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                                                                                                                                Drawing on decade-long fieldwork in rural China, the author explores the strategies and emerging new forms of cooperation and resistance among the villagers in response to large-scale shifts toward non-agricultural work and the privatization of collective assets.

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                                                                                                                                • Zhou, Xueguang. 1993. Unorganized interests and collective action in Communist China. American Sociological Review 58:54–73.

                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.2307/2096218Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  This article develops a theoretical argument to explain how the institutional arrangements of state socialism systematically and inadvertently induce unorganized, local contentions to converge toward collective action and large-scale social movement challenging the central authority.

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                                                                                                                                  Chinese Organizations and Institutions

                                                                                                                                  Chinese organizations and institutions have long been implicit in most studies of social stratification and inequality, and this has become a more explicit research focus in recent studies of China’s economic transformation. Two subsections here assemble some studies in this area.

                                                                                                                                  Danwei: Work Units with Chinese Characteristics

                                                                                                                                  The danwei system has been a central state socialist institution in China and has generated important research on Chinese organizations. Walder 1986 is a landmark work in this area. Lu and Perry 1997 captures more recent changes in the reform era. Chinese sociologists have renewed and broadened this line of inquiry since the 1990s, and developed more elaborate and in-depth interrogation of the socialist institution and examined its transformation in this reform era. Lu 1993 provides a historical account of the evolution of the danwei institution in the early years of the Communist revolution. Li, et al. 1996 situates danwei in the broader institutional environments of state socialist China. Li and Li 1999 develops a “resource-exchange” perspective to explain the key features of the danwei institution. Yu and Wu 2008 examines persistent variations in economic benefits across work organizations in more recent years.

                                                                                                                                  • Li Hanlin 李汉林 and Li Lulu 李路路. 1999. Ziyuan yu jiaohuan: Zhongguo danwei zhong de yilaixing jiegou (资源与交换:中国单位中的依赖性结构). Shehuixue yanjiu (社会学研究) 4:44–63.

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                                                                                                                                    The two authors develop a resource-exchange perspective to examine and explain the dependency structure of work organizations. Danwei controls all kinds of resources—welfare, political, and cultural—and it induces strong dependency of employees on their danwei, such that they choose to stay even in the face of significant relative deprivation within their workplaces.

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                                                                                                                                    • Li Meng 李猛, Zhou Feizhou 周飞舟, and Li Kang 李康. 1996. Danwei: Zhiduhua zuzhi de neibu jizhi (单位:制度化组织的内部机制). Zhongguo shehui kexue jikan (Xianggong) (中国社会科学季刊[香港]) 16:89–108.

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                                                                                                                                      This study situates the danwei organization in a broader institutional environment of state redistribution, where there is considerable autonomy between and within workplaces, leading to more complicated group dynamics than top-down political control.

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                                                                                                                                      • Lu Feng 路风. 1993. Zhongguo danweizhi de qiyuan he xingcheng (中国单位体制的起源和形成). Zhongguo shehuikexue jikan (xianggong) (中国社会科学季刊[香港]) 4:66–87.

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                                                                                                                                        This study traces the origin and historical evolution of the danwei institution and changes in its main characteristics over time. Especially informative in discussing the historical context and processes in which danwei has evolved, from the early years of armed struggle by the Chinese Communist Party to its full-fledged development in the People’s Republic.

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                                                                                                                                        • Lu, Xiaobo, and Elizabeth J. Perry, eds. 1997. Danwei: The changing Chinese workplace in historical and comparative perspective. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe.

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                                                                                                                                          A collection of articles on the danwei institutions that examine the historical origins, variations across sectors, and the ongoing changes in the reform, as well as similarities and differences in comparison with their counterparts in the USSR and Japan.

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                                                                                                                                          • Walder, Andrew G. 1986. Communist neo-traditionalism: Work and authority in Chinese industry. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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                                                                                                                                            In this landmark study, Walder combines discipline-based analytical power and rich observations and sense making in area studies to examine authority relationships in workplaces in Mao’s China. In contrast to the prevailing images of Communist political order, Walder finds an infusion of traditional social relations in the exercise of political control in the workplace, whose characteristics are labeled “Communist new traditionalism.”

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                                                                                                                                            • Yu, Xie, and Xiaogang Wu. 2008. Danwei profitability and earnings inequality in urban China. China Quarterly 195:558–581.

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                                                                                                                                              Using data collected in three Chinese cities in 1999, this is an empirical study that demonstrates the persistent role of danwei in providing differential benefits to employees in the reform era.

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                                                                                                                                              Institutions under Transformation

                                                                                                                                              Institutional changes taking place in China are primarily reflected in changes in social institutions and organizations. Important theoretical work has been developed to make sense of the diverse trends of changes in this area. Nee 1992 develops theoretical arguments on organizational transformation. Guthrie 1999 is an elaborate institutional analysis of changes in the early reform phase. Scholars have examined different aspects: Keister 2000 on business groups, Peng 2004 on kinship networks, and Child 1996 on Chinese organizations and management. Zhang 2005 and Li 2004 examine and record the demise of the People’s Commune and farming villages in China.

                                                                                                                                              • Child, John. 1996. Management in China during the age of reform. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                An overview of Chinese firms and management practice in the early phase of Chinese reform, covering such topics as leadership, decision making, marketing, purchasing transactions, personnel management, and incentive systems. An update is much needed, given the tremendous changes in Chinese organizations since its writing.

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                                                                                                                                                • Guthrie, Doug. 1999. Dragon in a three-piece suit: The emergence of capitalism in China. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                  An institutional analysis of Chinese organizations and urban economy in the early phase of China’s economic reform. Combined with interviews, observations, and statistical analysis, Guthrie addresses various aspects of reform, especially the reform of the state-owned firms from the mid-1980s to the 1990s and their response to emerging market competition and interaction with foreign firms and management.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Keister, Lisa. 2000. Chinese business groups. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                    This study examines the historical evolution, internal structures, and practice of business groups, a new institutional form in the reform era that is encouraged by state policies and often directly organized by the government’s top-down process.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Li Peilin 李培林. 2004. Cunluo de zhongjie: Yangchengcun de gushi (村落的终结: 羊城村的故事). Beijing: Shangwu chubanshe (北京: 商务出版社).

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                                                                                                                                                      This book examines the rapid urbanization processes near a metropolitan area in southern China and discusses such related issues as changes in ways of rural life, shifts from village-as-production work units to village-as-commercial center, evolving property rights, and social relations in the urbanization process. Rich narratives by locals or migrant workers on the rapid changes in everyday experience.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Nee, Victor. 1992. Organizational dynamics of market transition: Hybrid forms, property rights, and mixed economy in China. Administrative Science Quarterly 37:1–27.

                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.2307/2393531Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                        This is an early attempt to conceptualize competition among types of firms and different trajectories of change in terms of their competitive advantages in the expansion of a market economy. Hybrid forms of organizations and their relative advantages in the mixed economy are discussed in this context.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Peng, Yusheng. 2004. Kinship networks and entrepreneurs in China’s transitional economy. American Journal of Sociology 109:1045–1074.

                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1086/382347Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                          This study combines new institutionalism and social network theories to emphasize the role of interpersonal relations in enforcing informal norms in China’s economic development. The author shows that, by facilitating entrepreneurial activities and reducing transaction costs, kinship networks contribute significantly to the development of private rural enterprises.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Zhang Letian 张乐天. 2005. Gaobie lixiang: Renmin gongshe zhidu yanjiu (告别理想:人民公社制度研究). Shanghai: Shanghai renmin chubanshe (上海: 上海人民出版社).

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                                                                                                                                                            The most comprehensive documentation of the historical evolution, institutions, and practice of the People’s Commune in the Mao era, with rich details and somber reflections.

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                                                                                                                                                            Demography, Migration, and Family

                                                                                                                                                            This section combines several active and related research arenas. Lee and Wang 1999 develops a provocative argument on regulatory mechanisms in population reproduction in Chinese history. Coale and Banister 1994 puts the historical pattern of sex ratio imbalance under scrutiny. Peng 2011 provides a more recent overview of demographic changes in China. Liang and Ma 2004 and Fan 2002 highlight patterns and issues of internal migration in the reform era. Zeng and Wu 2000 analyzes patterns of divorce in China in the last two decades of the 20th century.

                                                                                                                                                            • Coale, Ansley J., and Judith Banister. 1994. Five decades of missing females in China. Demography 31:459–479.

                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.2307/2061752Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                              Careful investigative work using statistical data to identify sources of female mortality and sex ratio imbalance in the modern history of China.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Fan, Cindy. 2002. The elite, the natives, and the outsiders: Migration and labor market segmentation in urban China. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 92:103–124.

                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1111/1467-8306.00282Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                With the large inflow of migrant workers from rural to urban areas in the reform era, the landscape of social groups in urban areas has changed drastically. Using both qualitative and quantitative data, this study examines the role of residential institutions (the hukou system) in generating differential migrant processes and segmentation among migrant workers in the urban area.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Lee, James Z., and Feng Wang. 1999. One quarter of humanity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                  Contrary to the long-established Malthusian model of population, this book makes bold, provocative arguments and presents new evidence to establish that effective regulatory mechanisms over population and reproduction existed such that there has been low fertility at other periods in Chinese history. The authors attribute these regulatory mechanisms to social institutions and collective authority in Chinese culture.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Liang, Zai, and Zhongdong Ma. 2004. China’s floating population: New evidence from the 2000 census. Population and Development Review 30:467–488.

                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1111/j.1728-4457.2004.00024.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                    The “floating population” of workers migrating from rural to urban areas and across urban areas has played a critical role in labor supply in China’s takeoff. Using the most authoritative source of Chinese data, the 2000 census, this study provides systematic evidence on migration patterns among the floating population and their causes between 1990 and 2000.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Peng, Xizhe. 2011. China’s demographic history and future challenges. Science 29:581–587.

                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1126/science.1209396Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                      Based on 2010 census data, this is a recent and informed interpretation of a demographic trend of change in China as well as regional variations, with a forecast of the trend of an aging population into 2050 under different policy scenarios.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Zeng, Yi and Deqing Wu. 2000. Regional analysis of divorce in China since 1980. Demography 37:215–219.

                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.2307/2648123Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                        This study presents systematic evidence on patterns of divorce rates in China in the reform era, showing that the divorce rate has been on the rise in most provinces and there are noticeable regional variations across the country.

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                                                                                                                                                                        Interpreting China’s Transformation

                                                                                                                                                                        Social scientists have developed a variety of explanations and interpretations to make sense of the spectacular economic growth and large-scale institutional changes in China. Cohen 1988 places China’s reform in a larger historical context. Tsou 1986 and Yang 1996 trace the roots of reform to the earlier days of the CCP governance experience. Walder 1994 is an effort to theorize the decline of Communist power in China. Montinola, et al. 1995 provides an economic interpretation of China’s success in economic reform. Whyte 2009 is a more recent effort to reconcile the paradoxes of China’s reform, with an emphasis on the role of social institutions.

                                                                                                                                                                        • Cohen, Paul A. 1988. The post-Mao reforms in historical perspective. Journal of Asian Studies 47:519–541.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Somber, thoughtful reflections on the early phase of China’s reform that situate the ongoing reform in a larger historical context, especially in terms of state making, state-society relationships, and the series of historical reforms from the late Qing Dynasty, through the Republic era, to the People’s Republic.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Montinola, Gabriella, Yingyi Qian, and Barry R. Weingast. 1995. Federalism, Chinese style: The political basis for economic success in China. World Politics 48:50–81.

                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1353/wp.1995.0003Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                            The authors propose a new model to interpret China’s spectacular economic performance in the reform era, emphasizing the reform practice that allows local governments to take initiatives and also generates federalism-like, creditable commitment from the central authority.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Tsou, Tang. 1986. The Cultural Revolution and post-Mao reforms: A historical perspective. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                              A collection of essays on the Chinese Communist movement and regime in the Mao era. Building on social science theories, the author explores political dynamics, especially relationships between ideology and politics, that led to the Cultural Revolution and its aftermath in the early reform era.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Walder, Andrew G. 1994. The decline of Communist power: Elements of a theory of institutional change. Theory and Society 23:297–323.

                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1007/BF00993818Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                Walder develops a theoretical framework that identifies the institutional foundations of party power, specifies the change process under such a regime, and discusses a multitude of sources and processes of change in China’s reform era that undermined the institutional foundations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Whyte, Martin King. 2009. Paradoxes of China’s economic boom. Annual Review of Sociology 35:371–392.

                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1146/annurev-soc-070308-115905Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                  In this review article, Whyte examines salient paradoxes raised by the spectacular economic performance and societal transformation that China has experienced, including the role of traditional institutions, the strategy of gradual reform, authoritarian leadership, and the configuration of institutions for economic development.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Yang, Dali L. 1996. Calamity and reform in China. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    In this study, Yang traces the origin of China’s economic reform to the grand disasters of the Great Leap Forward era, especially those ensuing institutions and processes that led to China’s rural reforms.

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