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In Search of Civil SocietyMarket Reform and Social Change in Contemporary China$
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Gordon White, Jude A. Howell, and Shang Xiaoyuan

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198289562

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198289562.001.0001

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Market Reforms and the Emergent Constellation of Civil Society in China

Market Reforms and the Emergent Constellation of Civil Society in China

(p.15) 2 Market Reforms and the Emergent Constellation of Civil Society in China
In Search of Civil Society

Gordon White

Jude Howell

Shang Xiaoyuan

Oxford University Press

This chapter aims to provide an overall context for the detailed case studies of intermediate social organizations. It begins with a brief inquiry into the existence and character of ‘civil society’ organizations in pre-revolutionary China as a historical benchmark for viewing their emergence in the era of economic reform. Next, the chapter describes the structure of Chinese social organization during the Maoist era and identifies the socio-economic changes that have since taken place under the impact of economic reform, and which have created pressure for changes in associational behaviour and linkages between the party/state and society. It then draws a broad picture of Chinese civil society in the mid-1990s.

Keywords:   civil society, pre-revolutionary China, social organization, economic reform, Maoist era, socioeconomic changes, state, society

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