Chinese Triangle of Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong: Comparative Institutional Analyses

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The Chinese triangle of mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan constitutes one of the most dynamic regions in the world economy. Since the late 1970s, these three societies have experienced increasing economic integration; however, studies aimed at analyzing and explaining this integration have often overlooked the very important role social institutions have played in the shaping of this process. To fill this gap, this book adopts a systematic institutional approach designed to examine the different patterns of institutions in the three countries and to discuss how such social institutions as the economy, gender, social networks, and the Chinese diaspora have exerted a profound impact on all three societies. The chapters, taken together, argue that different patterns of institutional configuration have led to divergent paths of development, and that this divergence will have significant implications on the prospects for Chinese national reunification in the twenty-first century.

The Introductory chapter provides a historical discussion on the origins and the transformation of the Chinese triangle during the second half of the twentieth century. The remainder of the volume is broken into four topics considered crucial for understanding the transformation of the Chinese triangle: economic transformation, gender, social networks, and the Chinese diaspora. As globalization impacts the Chinese triangle, studies that consider the issues from the perspective of social institutions will be increasingly important to understanding the area as it develops in the world economy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[C]ontains useful information and analyses of the topics covered."


Royal Society for Asian Affairs

"[H]as excellent potential to make ground-breaking theoretical contributions by relating the Chinese experience to both the theoretical debates on social embeddedness and the well-documented processes of regional integration in Europe and North America. . . . [T]his volume is very well conceived and organized. It stands out as one of the most informative, thoughtful and fresh interpretations of the rapid changes in the Chinese economies in the current era of globalization."


Pacific Affairs

"[O]ffers a rich information and excellent insights about evolving institutions at a time of great societal transformation and, in this way, it is a timely sociological reading on Chinese societies. I recommend Chinese Triangle to students of contemporary Chinese society and culture as a reference for their social research programs and classroom instruction."


The Journal of Asian Studies

A selection of 16 papers from an August 1997 conference of the North American Chinese Sociologists Association in Toronto explore the three Chinas from the perspectives of economic institutions, gender, social networks, and the Chinese diaspora. They argue that the integration of the three, especially economic integration, has accelerated since the late 1970s, but most comparative studies have focused on short- term episodes rather than the fundamental, long-term institutional transformation. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313308697
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/30/2001
  • Series: Controversies in Science Series
  • Pages: 310
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

ALVIN Y. SO is Professor and Head of the Division of Social Science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

NAN LIN is Professor of Sociology at Duke University.

DUDLEY POSTON is Samuel Rhea Gammon Professor of Liberal Arts at Texas A & M University.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction: The Origins and Transformation of the Chinese Triangle 1
2 From Regional Integration to Export Competition? The Evolution of the Chinese Economic Triangle 23
3 A Study of Confucian Entrepreneurs in Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong 43
4 Local Institutions and Property Rights Transformation: Regional Variations in Chinese Rural Reforms 59
5 Job Stress in the Era of Market Reforms: Manufacturing Workers in Urban Shanghai 79
6 Cultural Construction of Labor Politics: Gender, Kinship, and Ethnicity in a Shenzhen Workplace 103
7 Of Flesh and Blood: The Human Consequences of Economic Restructuring on Women Workers in Hong Kong 117
8 Institutions and Networks Constructing Gender Inequality in Manufacturing Factories: The Case of Taiwan's Export Processing and Industrial Zones 133
9 Guanxi: A Conceptual Analysis 153
10 Between Personal Ties and Organizational Imperative: The Formation of Exchange Networks among Hospitals 167
11 A Comparative Study of Personal Networks in Two Chinese Societies 189
12 Overlapping Networks and Flexible Manufacturing: A Structural Analysis of Hong Kong-Based Garment Industry 207
13 PCR Immigrants in the United States: A Demographic Profile and an Assessment of Their Integration in the Chinese American Community 223
14 Immigrant Economy in a Pacific Rim Context: Chinese Business in Los Angeles 239
15 Return Migration among Chinese Immigrants in Toronto 253
16 Using Census Data to Conceptually Define the Chinese American Population 269
Index 283
About the Contributors 297
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