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In Search of Civil SocietyMarket Reform and Social Change in Contemporary China$
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Gordon White, Jude A. Howell, and Shang Xiaoyuan

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198289562

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198289562.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 November 2019

The Search for Civil Society

The Search for Civil Society

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 The Search for Civil Society
Source:
In Search of Civil Society
Author(s):

Gordon White

Jude Howell

Shang Xiaoyuan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198289562.003.0001

This chapter begins by examining the definition of ‘civil society’. It then employs the sociological notion of civil society, focusing on the changes in the organizational structure of Chinese society during the era of economic reform. Next, it investigates the impact of the spread of markets on patterns of social organization and state–society relations during the post-revolutionary period since 1949. The chapter then emphasizes the extent to which the market dynamic of civil society was in evidence during the era of post-Mao economic reforms from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s. Moreover, this market hypothesis of civil society is meant to be a hypothesis in the true sense of the word in that one must allow from the outset for the possibility that it may be wholly or partly false or misleading.

Keywords:   civil society, Chinese society, organizational structure, state–society relations, post-revolutionary period, social organization, market dynamics, economic reforms

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