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Social Connections in China

Social Connections in China
Institutions, Culture, and the Changing Nature of Guanxi


Part of Structural Analysis in the Social Sciences

Thomas Gold, Doug Guthrie, David Wank, Andrew Kipnis, Lin Yimin, Lisa Keister, Yanjie Bian, Amy Hanser, Scott Wilson, Pitman Potter, James Farrer, Barry Wellman, Wenhong Chen, Weizhen Dong
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  • Date Published: September 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521530316

£ 30.99

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About the Authors
  • Guanxi, translated as 'social connections,' or 'social networks,' is among the most important studied phenomena in China today. Guanxi lies at the heart of China's social order, its economic structure, and its changing institutional landscape. It is considered important in every realm of life, from politics to business, and officialdom to street life. This volume offers scholarly thinking on the subject by top China sociologists whose work on guanxi has been influential and by scholars offering insights on the topic. The authors examine the role of guanxi in: business decisions among managers and entrepreneurs; the decisions and practices of workers; the construction of new legal institutions; the new social order. Scholars and students of China will find this a rich source of detailed information on the workings of Chinese social relationships and a valuable, new interpretation of the meaning and place of guanxi today.

    • Is the first edited volume on guanxi, bringing together many of the top scholars of this subject
    • Advances research in the field through new studies on the changing nature of Chinese society
    • Relevant for scholars, businesspeople and policymakers
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… a valuable contribution in updating the modern day classics on guanxi …'. Asian Affairs

    '… the volume brings together the leading academic minds renowned for their ground-breaking work on the phenomenon, as well as less familiar names testing and developing their theories in new areas'. Asian Affairs

    ' … an impressive collection of essays …'. School of Oriental & African Studies

    '… makes a meaningful addition to the study of China and social networks. … a fascinating study for people interested in Chinese society and social networks. It can also serve as a reference for further readings and research. … this is a very useful volume that challenges our thinking about the role of guanxi in a changing Chinese society, and it should be useful for advanced undergraduate and graduate classes.' The Journal of Asian Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521530316
    • length: 296 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.44kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    An introduction to the study of guanxi Thomas Gold, Doug Guthrie and David Wank
    1. Practices of guanxi production and practices of ganqing suppression Andrew Kipnis
    2. Information asymmetries and the problems of perception: the significance of structural position in assessing the importance of guanxi Doug Guthrie
    3. Beyond dyad social exchange: guanxi and third party effects Lin Yimin
    4. Guanxi in business groups: social ties and the formation of economic relations Lisa Keister
    5. The significance of the declining significance of guanxi: how networks change in China's market economy David Wank
    6. Institutional holes and job mobility processes: guanxi mechanisms in China's emergent labor markets Yanjie Bian
    7. Youth job searches in urban China: the use of social connections in a changing labor market Amy Hanser
    8. Face, norms, and instrumentality Scott Wilson
    9. Guanxi and the PRC legal system: from contradiction to complementarity Pitman Potter
    10. 'Idle talk': neighborhood gossip as a medium of social communication in reform era Shanghai James Farrer
    Final insights: network analysis and the study of guanxi Barry Wellman, Wenhong Chen and Weizhen Dong.

  • Editors

    Thomas Gold, University of California, Berkeley

    Doug Guthrie, New York University

    David Wank, Sophia University, Tokyo


    Thomas Gold, Doug Guthrie, David Wank, Andrew Kipnis, Lin Yimin, Lisa Keister, Yanjie Bian, Amy Hanser, Scott Wilson, Pitman Potter, James Farrer, Barry Wellman, Wenhong Chen, Weizhen Dong

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