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Volume 29, 2012
China's Modernization II

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Displaying: 1-18 of 18 documents

on contempary theory of modernisation
1. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Manussos Marangudakis Multiple Modernities and the Theory of Indeterminacy: On the Development and Theoretical Foundations of the Historical Sociology of Shmuel N. Eisenstadt
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The essay presents the parallel development of Shmuel Eisenstadt’s historical and theoretical sociology from a critical correction of structural functionalism found in The Political Systems of Empires to the full development of the theory of indeterminacy of his later works that culminated in the ‘multiple modernities’ thesis. The key factor that shapes the course of Eisentadt’s theoretical progress is the crucial role of various elites to fill the open space between actuality and potentiality creating and sustaining institutions that permit the development of structural differentiation according to some fundamental cosmological and cognitive principles that shape the course of historical development inside these social systems. Infusing structural-functionalism with a strong dose of conflict sociology, Eisenstadt came to the conclusion that social development is not a process of internal systemic growth, but the unintended consequence of the elites’ efforts to institutionally control free resources. And while this process in the pre-modern past led to the development of relatively distinct civilizations, in the framework of modernity has created a global framework of fundamental contradictions of tensions intrinsically irresolvable.
changing china: dealing with diversity
2. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Merle Goldman Dissent of China’s Public Intellectuals in the Post-Mao Era
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During the reign of China’s Communist Party leader, Mao Zedong (1949–1976), any political or academic dissent was brutally suppressed. With Mao’s death in 1976, China, under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping and his successors, opened China to the outside world and loosened political controls over the intellectual community. As China moved to a market economy and engagement with the Western world, the party loosened controls over intellectual endeavors. Nevertheless, a small number of intellectuals who criticized party’ policies and publicly called for democratic reforms were silenced and a a number of them were imprisoned. Though, intellectuals enjoyed more personal and academic freedom in the post-Mao era, if they criticized the party’s policies or practices directly, they were ostracized from the intellectual community and a small number were imprisoned.
3. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Qingbo Zhang Modernization of Law in China – its Meaning, Achievements, Obstacles and Prospect
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The core of modernization of law in China is the protection of basic rights of freedom and equality, which was lacking in the tradtional Chinese society. Today, the modernization from the perspective of legal texts has been fast thoroughly finished, while the function of law and the mentality of people need developing. This process could be better understood against the whole background of modernization in China. With the deepening of modernization a modern legal system could be expected in China in the long run.
4. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Scott Wilson China’s State in the Trenches: A Gramscian Analysis of Civil Society and Rights-Based Litigation
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The article analyzes the rise of civil society organizations and litigation related to environmental pollution and HIV/AIDS in China. China’s state has responded to pressure from civil society with regulations to limit civil society organizations’ contentiousness and ties to international groups, restricted access to the courts, and creation of GONGOs to vie with grassroots organizations over leadership of civil society. Against liberal theories of civil society, the author argues for a Gramscian model of civil society in which the state takes an active role in constructing its hegemony in civil society.
5. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Francis Schortgen, Shalendra Sharma Manufacturing Dissent: Domestic and International Ramifications of China’s Summer of Labor Unrest
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With the onset of heretofore unprecedented instances of labor unrest in the summer of 2010, it has become readily apparent that China’s economy has reached a critical juncture. Perceptions of rising social inequity and redistributive injustice are indicative of strains of economic growth that have proved as inevitable as they are consequential. Against the backdrop of an impending leadership transition and a global economy emerging from recessionary throes, changing labor market conditions will shape economic development and growth in substan­tive ways as first-tier cities and provinces are beginning a transition from take-off to early maturity stage of development. In its effort to mitigate regional disparities, China is locked into a precarious socio-economic balancing act with far-reaching consequences for domestic stability and international competitiveness. What are the short- to medium-term implica­tions for China’s domestic political economy space? What is the likely effect on China’s global labor cost arbitrage and international competitiveness?
neoliberalism and the changes in east asian welfare and education
6. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Beatriz Carrillo Garcia Business Opportunities and Philanthropic Initiatives: Private Entrepreneurs, Welfare Provision and the Prospects for Social Change in China
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This paper explores the different ways in which the Chinese Party-state has promoted for-profit service provision and the philanthropic initiatives of private entrepreneurs, in order to elucidate the changing nature of China’s social contract. Throughout the 1980s and up to the mid-1990s the prevalent social contract, built around the idea that market mechanisms would bring economic prosperity to all citizens, had largely not been challenged. That changed in the late 1990s as a result of rising socio-economic inequalities, massive lay-offs from state owned enterprise reform, rising urban poverty, rising health care costs, the countryside consistently falling behind urban levels of development, and other social issues. Over the last decade there has been a reconfiguration and rearticulation of the social contract in China, with social welfare policy becoming a key element of the Party-state’s efforts to maintain legitimacy. Initially adopting an ambivalent position towards the private provi­sion of core public services such as health and education, the Party-state now recognises the important role played by private service providers, and has introduced legislation designed to protect the providers of such services, while also ensuring that their activities can be regulated more closely.
7. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Ritu Vij Time, Politics and Homelessness in Contemporary Japan
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This paper examines heterotopias of homelessness in contemporary Japan. Against received claims about a shift from a social to a post-social form of politics, the paper draws attention to distinct temporal horizons that shape statist and precarious political subjectivities at sites of economic abandonment, complicating generalizations about the demise of the social and the shift to new (post-representational) political practices in neoliberal Japan. In contrast to the politics of representation that continue to mobilize statist social imaginaries around advocacy and care for the homeless, political heterotopias of homelessness index a critical refusal of hegemonic interpellations of home and home-coming. In an effort to expand understanding of the political in Japan, the paper draws attention to the multiple temporalities constitutive of the social space of homelessness. In so doing, it seeks to make visible fugitive forms of political subjectivities beyond statist and neoliberal enclosure, and contribute more broadly to a critical discourse on the nature of politics in contemporary Japan.
8. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
David C. Schak Educational Modernisation Across the Taiwan Straits: Pedagogical Transformation in Primary School Moral Education Textbooks in the PRC and Taiwan
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Chinese education was for millennia been based on memorization of texts and teacher-centered instruction. However, new primary school moral education texts produced in the past decade in both the PRC and Taiwan are based on a radically different pedagogy with students as the focus and as personally involved in their education through research, analysis of findings, and active classroom participation. Moreover, their education extends beyond acquiring knowledge and includes confidence building, social skills and emotional problem solving. The major questions are the extent to which this new pedagogy will be followed and be extended to other subjects and into middle school.
9. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Ho-fung Hung Is China Saving Global Capitalism from the Global Crisis?
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Ever since the onset of the latest global financial crisis in 2008, China’s continuous rapid growth has led many to see the Chinese model as a viable alternative to neoliberal development. Some even see Chinese capitalism as the last hope for the rejuvenation of global capitalism. This paper argues that rather than constituting a progressive alternative to neo­liberalism, China’s stellar export-led economic growth is in fact a core part of the global neoliberal order. The exceptional competitiveness of China’s export sector originates in an urban-bias policy that is detrimental to rural-agricultural development, creating a large rural surplus labor, perpetuating the low manufacturing wage among rural migrant workers, and restraining domestic consumption. The falling consumption share of the economy led China to depend on western markets, the US in particular, for its exports. The global financial crisis ended the consumption spree in the US and elsewhere in the global North, precipitating a crisis of China’s export-led growth. China’s apparent success in weathering the global economic crisis so far is grounded on a stimulus program that escalated debt-financed fixed asset investment, which is unsustainable, though the beginning of the end of the urban bias is also evident over the last few years. The continuous rise of China as the new center of global capitalism in the long run, therefore, hinges not on the perpetuation of China’s current model of development, but on whether China could shift to a new model of development based on urban-rural balanced growth and larger household consumption share of the economy.
on contemporary philosophy
10. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Robert Kowalski International Development, Paradox and Phronesis
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Three out of five paradoxes previously identified within international development are considered to be the core challenges to professional practice and congruence. The first, that of fostering autonomy, is considered from the perspective of the role that language plays in maintaining inappropriate donor ascendancy taking the concept of participation as an exemplar. The second, based in determinism and free will, is discussed in terms of the gap between practitioners’ espoused theory and theory-in-use that creates a syndrome of dissonance that undermines practice by elevating the importance of techne above phronesis and exemplified in the practice of planning. The third, where help appears as a threat, is discussed in terms of the moral hazard and the failure to distinguish need from deficiency, linked to humanitarian assistance and development assistance.
11. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Robert Cummins Précis of “The World in the Head”
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12. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Steffen Borge Communication, Cooperation and Conflict
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According to Steven Pinker and his associates the cooperative model of human communication fails, because evolutionary biology teaches us that most social relationships, including talk-exchange, involve combinations of cooperation and conflict. In particular, the phenomenon of the strategic speaker who uses indirect speech in order to be able to deny what he meant by a speech act (deniability of conversational implicatures) challenges the model. In reply I point out that interlocutors can aim at understanding each other (cooperation), while being in conflict. Furthermore, Pinker’s strategic speaker relies on the Cooperative Principle when conveying a conversational implicature, and so non-cooperative behaviour (denial) only emerges as a response to a negative reaction from the audience. It is also doubtful in the cases Pinker presents whether a denial will successfully cancel the conversational implicature – change the audience’s interpretation of speaker’s meaning. I also argue that a strategic speaker might choose indirect speech due to the ignorability of conversational implicatures, in which case the strategic speaker can be highly cooperative.
13. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
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On ProtoSociology
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16. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Published Volumes
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Digital Volumes available
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18. ProtoSociology: Volume > 29
Bookpublications of the Project
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