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Volume 28, 2011
China's Modenization I

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changing china: dealing with diversity
1. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Björn Alpermann Class, Citizenship and Individualization in China’s Modernization
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Against the backdrop of China’s rapid social change in recent decades, this article explores the social categorizations of class and citizenship and how these have evolved in terms of structure and discourse. In order to do so, possibilities of employing Beck’s theory of second modernity to the case of China are explored. While China does not fit into Beck’s theory on all accounts, it is argued here that his individualization thesis can be fruitfully employed to make sense of China’s ongoing process of modernization. It may provide a welcome new starting point for analyses of China’s current social developments beyond the “simple” modernization theories that still dominate in China studies.
2. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Andrew Kipnis Chinese Nation-Building as, Instead of, and Before Globalization
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In this era of “globalization”, nation-building has become a relatively neglected topic. In this essay, I use Thomas Hylland Eriksen’s textbook, Globalization, as a framework for exploring nation-building in China. I take his eight-concept chapter outline—disembedding, acceleration, standardization, interconnectedness, movement, mixing, vulnerability, and re-embedding—and apply it to dynamics of nation-building in China. In so doing, I tease out actual and potential relationships among the processes evident in Chinese nation-building and globalization. In addition, I explore some of the relationships, productivities and pitfalls of “globalization” and “nation-building” as concepts.
3. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
John R. Gibbins Principles for Cosmopolitan Societies: Values for Cosmopolitan Places
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Postmodern theory is well placed to provide a useful resource in carrying forward the project of instituting cosmopolitan morality and justice at the local level. It is qualified to contribute because the central problematic of postmodern political theory is shared by cosmopolitanism, namely, how can a multiplicity of divergent autonomous groups, with few, or no shared cultural resources, negotiate and agree to share common spaces? How, can we have political and moral order when the preconditions, normally believed to accompany these, are non existent or unstable. Postmodern thinking also brings to the debate about cosmopolitanism, the resources that will allow for the toleration, openness and ingenuity that build upon eclecticism, pluralism, the celebration of difference, and expressivism in a period experiencing alteration, vulnerability, irony and insecurity. In approach, postmodern thinking shares with cosmopolitanism: a preference for particular narrative over grand narrative; the local over the global; particular over universal; difference over generalisation; eclecticism over absolutism; synchrony over unity; and pluralism over monism. Both approaches are resources that can help us re-learn how neighbours can live together in strange times.
on modernization: law, business, and economy in china
4. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Sanzhu Zhu Modernizing Chinese Law: The Protection of Private Property in China
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Over the past three decades a progressive transformation of the law and legal institutions in China took place as part and parcel of China’s broader modernization process driven by economic reform and development. The recognition and protection of private property as embodied in the amendment of the 1982 Constitution, the 2007 Property Law and other legislations, is one of the stories contributing to the transformation of modern Chinese law and legal institutions, which reflects a historical modernization process of socio-economic change in contemporary China. However, this study by examining the development of a legal framework for the protection of private property, the problems related to urban housing demolition, and the rule of law in relation to the protection of private property, submits that the legal modernization in the protection of private property had no radical departure from, but confined within and compromised with, China’s current existing systems which, among others, still uphold socialist ideology and practice.
5. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Peter J. Peverelli Chinese Organizations as Groups of People: Towards a Chinese Business Administration
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Business is booming in China and so are Business Administration courses. However, these courses do not always seem to prepare their students for the job of managing Chinese organizations. In order to design better courses, we first need to look deeper into the nature of Chinese organizations. A number of Chinese scholars have realized this and started looking at Chinese intellectual traditions, in particular Confucian thought, to discern the differences between Western organizations (for which most globally used MBA courses have been designed) and their Chinese counterparts. This has already led to interesting new insights. However, predicates like ‘Chinese’ or ‘Confucian’ make it difficult to apply the new finding, more generally. This paper acknowledges the findings, but proposes an alternative organiza­tion theory that can not only find and explain the Chinese-ness of Chinese organizations, but can be applied globally, to determine local modes of organizing
6. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Ma Rong Income Gaps in Economic Development: Differences among Regions, Occupational Groups and Ethnic Groups
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The income gap in Chinese society has increased significantly in recent years. This disparity can be confirmed by the critical level of China’s current Gini coefficient. In response, que­stions concerning social stratification and mobility in China, and how to improve China’s income distribution have become key discussions among Chinese sociologists.The income gap, a result of economic development, can be examined via discussions of income disparity between different regions, occupational groups and ethnic groups. Previous analyses based on official government and academic statistical data have tended to focus primarily on regional and occupational differences in relation to income disparity. However, the income gap exhibited between different ethnic groups is in effect directly linked to inconsistencies in income acquisition and employment opportunities. Furthermore, this link is intimately related to China’s national policies in ethnic affairs.
thinking differentiations: chinese origin and the western culture
7. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Richard Madsen Signs and Wonders: Christianity and Hybrid Modernity in China
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The Protestant Christianity that came to China in the 19th century was mostly a “modernizing” Christianity that promoted the transition to what Charles Taylor calls an “immanent frame”—a disenchanted world based on natural laws, knowable through scientific reason, which can be used by humans for their mutual benefit. Within this immanent frame, religion is a matter of private belief that cultivates good personal moral character. And there is no place for “signs and wonders”—miracles that suspend the laws of nature. But Chinese modernity has turned out to be a hybrid kind. Especially (but by no means exclusively) in the countryside, the immanent modernity brought from the West has mingled with the enchanted world carried down from Chinese traditions. One sign of this is the prevalence of “signs and wonders” popular Christianity, which has been the most rapidly growing form of Christianity in China. The history of Catholicism in China has similarities to these developments.
8. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Thorsten Botz-Bornstein Confucianism, Puritanism, and the Transcendental: China and America
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Max Weber examined Chinese society and European Puritanism at the beginning of the Twentieth Century in order to find out why capitalism did not develop in China. He found that Confucianism and Puritanism are mutually exclusive, which enabled him to oppose both in the form of two different kinds of rationalism. I attempt neither to refute nor to confirm the Weberian thought model. Instead I show that a similar model applies to Jean Baudrillard’s vision of American culture, a culture that he determined in terms of hyperreality. Instead of rejecting Weber’s thoughts right away, I give Weber’s model a further push and show that through a further twist that “Western culture” has received within particular American constellations, Weber’s understanding of Confucianism and Baudrillard’s understanding of American civilization manifest amazing similarities.
9. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom China and the Town Square Test
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This essay assesses the way that issues relating to freedom of speech and public and private forms of dissent have and have not changed in the People’s Republic of China in recent decades. It looks at the way China’s unusual trajectory suggests that Nathan Sharansky’s famous “town square test,” which is often used to divide countries along a single axis (with “free” nations on one side, “fear” nations on the other) is problematic. The need to take regional variations within China into account is one theme that is stresses.
10. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Ying Zhang Metaphor, Poetry and Cultural Implicature
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Metaphor has been a feature of poetry for centuries. Some metaphorical phenomena in poetry raise questions for the traditional framework, in which metaphor is a matter of the metaphorical use of individual words. White does not adopt the traditional view. He intro­duces a sentence-approach instead. I argue that the alleged phenomena occur in the Chinese poetry as well. I argue further, that White’s structure of representing metaphor can be used to analyze metaphor in the Chinese poetry, but that it must be constructed on the basis of working out the relevant cultural implicatures. In effect, interpreting a metaphor involves generating the cultural implicature where a literary quotation is being alluded to, because the quotation acts as the key to understanding the metaphor in the poetry.
on contemporary philosophy and sociology
11. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Jody Azzouni Can Science Change our Notion of Existence?
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I explore the question of whether scientific changes can induce mutations in our ordinary notion of existence. I conclude that they can’t, partially on the grounds that some of the pro­posed alternative-notions of existence are only terminologically-distinct from our ordinary notion, and so don’t provide genuine metaphysical alternatives, and partially on the grounds that the ordinary notion of existence is criterion-transcendent.
12. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
Alan Millar The Epistemological Significance of Practices
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13. ProtoSociology: Volume > 28
J. Adam Carter On Cappelen and Hawthrone’s “Relativism and Monadic Truth”
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On ProtoSociology
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Published Volumes
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Digital Volumes available
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Bookpublications of the Project
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