Synopses & Reviews
This book provides a rare glimpse into how the Chinese urban population is experiencing the rapid shift from a planned to a market economy. Using a dozen recent national surveys, the authors give voice to workers, civil servants, intellectuals, and women, who report their grievances and joys at home, at work, and in the public sphere. With fresh data on emerging patterns of economic inequality, labor-management relations, popular grievances, political participation, and gender inequality, the book analyzes how the shifting social contract influences ordinary people's lives and China's future direction.
"Tang and Parish carefully mine a mountain of survey evidence to evaluate a wide range of arguments and ideas about the social consequences of China's reforms, and more generally, the transition from a planned to a market economy. By placing China unwaveringly in comparative perspective, their readable narrative offers some surprising new perspectives on such matters as social inequality, bureaucratic privilege, and political participation - especially on the all-important question of how we should interpret the trends we observe. We will all refer to the findings and insights of this benchmark study for years to come." Andrew G. Walder, Stanford University"Bill Parish, one of the most experienced and wide-ranging sociologists studying China, here teams up with a talented political scientist, Wenfang Tang, to present a broad overview of varying patterns in Chinese urban life after reform. They find wide differences among people, depending upon education and opportunity for exposure to outside media. They find differences among work units as workers who were highly dependent upon their superiors are gradually exposed to an open market system. In Taiwan, which has long had a high proportion of small, independent companies, individual effort still makes more difference than on the mainland. A comprehensive, broad picture of changes in Chinese urban society." Ezra Vogel, Asia Center, Harvard University"What has happened to China's urban political economy in the post-Mao era? Tang and Parish use ideas drawn from a wide range of social theories and the urban experiences of other countries to confront multiple sets of Chinese surveys dealing with urban life. the result is an impressive and persuasive summary statement of the balance of change and continuity in Chinese cities." Martin Whyte, George Washington University"A pioneering and encyclopedic study of China's urban social and political life during the economic reforms of the Deng era. The interesting findings on such topics as attitudes toward the reforms, political participation, and labor relations will inform all serious analyses in these areas. Makes effective use of hitherto underutilized survey data to test a variety of hypotheses." Michel Oksenberg, Asia/Pacific Research Center, Stanford University"...the writing is generally clear, especially in the introductory chapters, which do an excellent job of describing the Chinese urban environment and the problems that economic reform faces in China. Those looking for a thorough and well-grounded sociological analysis of contemporary Chinese urban life will find it in this book." Choice"This book is a milestone in the sociological study of contemporary China." Thomas B. Gold, American Journal Of Sociology
This book examines how urban China is experiencing the shift from a planned to a market economy.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 352-379) and index.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements; Part I. Introduction: 1. Socialist and market social contracts; 2. The urban social world; Part II. Group Interests: 3. Life chances: education and jobs; 4. Economic rewards; 5. Popular reactions to the changing social contract; 6. Labor-management relations; 7. Civil servants and bureaucratic behavior; 8. Political participation and interest articulation; Part III. Gender: 9. Gender and work William L. Parish and Sarah Busse; 10. Gender and family William L. Parish and James Farrer; Part IV. Comparisons and Conclusions: 11. Taiwan and China compared; 12. Conclusion; Appendices; References; Index.