Social Change in Contemporary China: C.K. Yang and the Concept of Institutional Diffusion

Social Change in Contemporary China: C.K. Yang and the Concept of Institutional Diffusion


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Social Change in Contemporary China offers a wide-ranging examination of Chinese institutional change in areas of education, religion, health care, economics, labor, family, and local communities in the post-Mao era. Based on the pioneering work of sociologist C. K. Yang (1911-1999), and his institutional diffusion theory, the essays analyze and develop the theory as it applies to both public and private institutions.  The interrelationship of these institutions composes what Yang termed the Chinese “system,” and affects nearly every aspect of life. Yang examined the influence of external factors on each institution, such as the influence of Westernization and Communism on family, and the impact of industrialization on rural markets. He also analyzed the impact of public opinion and past culture on institutions, therein revealing the circular nature of diffusion. Perhaps most significant are Yang’s insights on the role of religion in Chinese society. Despite the common perception that China had no religion, he uncovers the influence of classical Confucianism as the basis for many ethical value systems, and follows its diffusion into state and kinship systems, as well as Taoism and Buddhism.

Writing in the early years of Communism, Yang had little hard data with which to test his theories. The contributors to this volume expand upon Yang’s groundbreaking approach and apply the model of diffusion to a rapidly evolving contemporary China, providing a window into an increasingly modern Chinese society and its institutions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822959335
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 12/28/2006
Edition description: 1
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Wenfang Tang is associate professor of political science at the University of Pittsburgh.

Burkart Holzner is professor of sociology and public and international affairs  and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of International Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures     vii
Introduction: The Diffusion of Institutions in Contemporary China   Wenfang Tang     1
C. K.Yang and His Theory of Institutions
C. K. Yang: Sociology in China and the Encounter of Civilizations   Burkart Holzner     17
Institutional Restructuring, Organizational Integration, and the Chinese Revolution: C. K. Yang's Theory of Social System Change   Chong Chor Lau     30
A Sociological Paradigm in the Study of Chinese Religion: C. K. Yang's Religion in Chinese Society   Ambrose Y. C. King   Lizhu Fan     57
Public Institutions
New Institutions in Practice: Migrant Workers and Their Mobilization of the Labor Law   Isabelle Thireau   Hua Linshan     65
Social Capabilities and Chinese Economic Growth   Thomas G. Rawski     89
Institutional Change and Income Inequality   Zhanxin Zhang     104
Categorical Sources of Income Inequality in Urban China   Wang Feng   Tianfu Wang     125
Local Response to a Global Agenda: Changing State-Education Relations in Mainland China   Ka-ho Mok     153
Chinese Diffused and Institutional Health Care and Global Change   Rance P. L. Lee     176
Family and Community
When a House Becomes His Home   Deborah S.Davis     199
Family Social Capital in Urban China: A Social Network Approach   Yanjie Bian   Deborah S. Davis   Shaoguang Wang     219
When to Give and Why: Intergenerational Transfer of Resources in Urban Chinese Families   Jieming Chen     233
Local Community and Communal Solidarity in Rural China   Cho-yun Hsu     261
Notes     275
References     289
List of Contributors     313
Index     317

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