SOCY Basic Terminology/vocabulary/factoids
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Born during and in support of the Great Leap Forward when Mao had a vision of quickly surpassing the UK and US in steel production; also wanted to mobilize peasants to increase agricultural productivity. Communes the highest of three administrative levels (the other two are teams and brigades) and in rural areas of the PRC during the period of 1958-1982-85 until they were replaced by townships; were divided into production brigades and production teams. Made an official state policy in 1958. Mao used Anti-Rightist Campaign to silence his opponents and gained support of peasants through propaganda campaigns. The commune system took away the land that was given to peasants after 1949. (Sherril)
“feeling the stones to cross the river”
used by Deng Xiaoping to describe an experimental, learning-by-doing approach during China’s economic transformation through the 1990s (Sherril)
(urban) danwei 单位
(Ren 45) major vehicle for the one-party state to govern its urban population during the socialist years, existed only in urban areas; means workplaces or “work units.” Origins traced back to the 1930s, when the CCP experimented with new ways of communal living based around the idea of “public families.” Danwei was reinstated after the Great Famine to effectively control population movement and resource allocation. It was rare for urban workers to transfer from one danwei to another. Economic functions: schooling, health care, housing, food rationing Social control/political functions: mass mobilization, enforcement of One Child Policy, surveillance of everyday life Danwei system has weakened substantially with the reform of state-owned enterprises (SOE). (Sherril)
Household registration system that officially identifies a person as a resident of an area and includes identifying information such as name, parents, spouse, and date of birth; promulgated by the Chinese government in 1958 to control the movement of people between urban and rural areas. Individuals were broadly categorized as “rural” or “urban” workers; controlled education, employment, marriage, and access to grain rations, employer-provided housing, health care, etc“State strategy to restrict population movement between cities and rural ares, to concentrate resources in urban areas in order to promote industrialization, and to exploit the peasantry” (51) (Ren 25) Urban residents enjoyed benefits of state-provided housing, schools, hospitals, and other social welfare provisions, which were not available to rural residents, and this triggered a rapid migration from the countryside to cities in the 1950s. Unable to support the influx of rural migrants, in 1958 China introduced the hukou system… Thus, the urban-rural divide was aggravated by the state priorities of industrialization and the suppression of urbanization, and later was institutionalized with the hukou regime. (Ren 52) Restriction of population movement through hukou has been largely relaxed since the 1980s to ensure a ready supply of cheap labor for the manufacturing belt in the south. Migrant workers can acquire a legal residency permit in the cities where they work, which they need to renew periodically to maintain their legal status. Migrants were previously required by law to carry their residency permit, and those without the permit could be detained and sent back to the places of their official registration. This requirement was ended in 2003 by the central government in response to the Sun Zhigang incident (student looking for work who was beaten to death while in police custody for not carrying a temporary residency permit) (Sherril)“ Single most important institution that divides the country’s population into two classes” (54)
HRS ( household responsibility system)
(Ren 6, 25) introduced between 1978 and 1983 as result of Deng’s reform, the HRS gave the decision making power over agricultural surplus back to individual rural households and rural residents were given allowed to travel outside their villages to seek business opportunities for their products. Replaced the collective farming practices under the previous People’s Communes by giving farmers greater incentive to increase production. (Anna)
TVEs (Township and village enterprises)
(Ren 6-8) played a significant role in the growth of the Chinese economy since the economic reforms of 1978. Found to be far more efficient than SOEs and thus many were shifted to TVEs. In 1978, 1.5 million TVEs employed 28.2 million workers, whereas by 1996, 23.4 million TVEs employed 135.1 million workers. Known as enterprises, they were encouraged by the existence of surplus labor in the rural communities and the lack of mobility among those communities. Many of these enterprises have strong linkages to agriculture, both backward and forward, such as farm machinery, fertilizers, and feed/grain processing. TVEs led to rapid industrialization and urbanization of the countryside which raised standards in rural areas. Key to their success seems to be the high degree of competition, flexibility, and autonomy, which occurred without significant privatization. Jumpstarted China’s economic rise. (Wikipedia definition: market-oriented public enterprises under the purview of local governments based in townships and villages in the People's Republic of China.)
ViCs (villages in the city)
(Ren 118, 121-123) “Villages-in-the-City”, are an informal type of migrant housing arrangement widely observed in China, especially in the South, where large migrant communities form in villages within and outside city limits as villagers rent out properties to migrant workers. China’s unique two-tier administrative system divided between city governments and rural authorities gives rise to ViCs as rural land is collectively owned and peasants have the right to build housing on their land while municipal planning authorities don’t intervene. (Anna)
Skinner’s 8 macro regions
(Ren 19-20) Skinner, an American anthropologist, imagined imperial China as eight macro-regions , each with a hierarchy of central places surrounding a regional core, with core cities connected to towns within the same macro-region through economic and political relationships. Example - during the Tang period around the capital city of Chang’an. However, because of limited transportation, economic and administrative transactions across macro-regions were too weak to create an integrated empire-wide urban system. (Anna)
Teng-chung Heihe line
Imaginary line dividing China roughly in half diagonally, from the city of Heihe in the Northeast to Teng-chung county in the Southwest. In 1935, the area West of the line contained 57% of the land but only 4% of the population. Now, 6% of the population lives there, surprising considering the current trends in migration. The slight rise in population is due to Han Chinese settling in urban areas in Xinjiang and Xizang
SOE (state owned enterprise)
(Ren 5-9) As of 2012, (megadanweis) are large state-owned enterprises (SOEs) were the backbone of China's economy, producing over 50% of the nation's goods and services, and employing over half of China's workers during the high Mao era. As they were privatized in the late 80s/early 90s, employees lost their jobs. This privatization allowed China’s industries to stay competitive. With the reforms of the SOEs, the danwei system has weakened substantially (Ren 46). SOEs were encouraged to “shed their social welfare functions and engage in market competition with the other enterprises”, and simply could not adjust and went bankrupt/laid off their workers. “A number of large SOEs have in recent years monopolized key economic sectors… among the 500 largest Chinese companies in 2011, 316 are SOEs...the 20 largest chinese companies in 2011 are almost exclusively SOEs.” (Ren 47)
SEZs (special economic zones)
(Ren 28) focus of development shifted from rural to urban areas in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Originally there were four SEZ cities: Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Shantou and Xiamen. In these cities laws were put in place which were favorable towards land leasing, taxation and labor regulations. This was done so in order to attract investment from “overseas Chinese diasporas in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southeast Asia”. The SEZs were very successful. 14 other cities were designated as “open cities”. 1988 - all of Hainan became a SEZ. 1991 - Shanghai’s Pudong New District was created.
Qiaotou the button town
(Ren 27) Once a town known for its cotton fluffers, the merchants of Qiaotu, a village in Zhejiang, started to sell buttons on their travels. Qiaotu was a part of a push by the CCP to create mini SEZs for cities to specialize in a single product and in the mid-1990s had become “The largest wholesale center for buttons in Asia”. Because of the profit made selling buttons, the village of Qiaotu was able to build other types of infrastructure such as restaurants, hotels and transportation. An example of the many towns that specialize in a single product
- for roads and bridges, costs are shared between private investors and local gov, then ownership transferred to local gov. continue to make profits long after they have recovered their initial costs which is a problemBOT charge exorbitant fees and has turned infrastructure projects into profit making machines for local governments. Toll bridges cause an inflation of food prices.
- -The BOT method worked on the Guangdong
Xintiandi (as discussed by Ren)
(Ren 178-180): There are basically 3 phases of nightlife development from 1980s to modern day. 1-emergence of a small number of bars in international hotels in the 1980s, 2-government crackdowns on independent clubs in the late 1990s, and 3. active promotion and planning of night life districts by local governments since the 2000s. Xintiandi falls in group 3 as the “textbook example of a high-end, sanitized nightlife district with strong government endorsement”. Maintained facades of old buildings, renovate interior. Target population is foreign expatriates and wealthy Chinese (about 70% of Xintiandi’s visitors are Chinese). Shows how Shanghai has increasingly been integrated into the global economy and new consumption patterns have generated as locals adapt to global traits. “Conspicuous consumption and nightlife are no longer considered politically dangerous and morally corrupt in these government-backed entertainment districts”-from Josh: Not sure if this covers all that Ren talks about Xintiandi (just found it in the “cultural economy” chapter). Of course, feel free to add, etc.
(Ren 37) “number one leader” a position in both governmental and private organizations that often has absolute power. The employees often spend ‘enormous’ amounts of energy trying to please them. Captures the hierarchical nature of Chinese politics and organizational structures
(Ren 38-9, 43) Tiao refers to the vertical administrative units under the supervision of the State Council in Beijing, like ministries, commissions, etc (in other words, the lines). Kuai refers to horizontal territorial administrative units such as the governing bodies of provinces (pieces). In the socialist era, power lay mostly in tiao but market reform brought about the reversal of the tiao-kuai relationship, with territorial authorities gaining more power and central ministries becoming regulatory bodies that don’t directly interfere in local affairs. (Anna)
(Ren 44) refers to investigations of party officials who break the rules, which often involve torture and sleep-deprived interrogations. Common during the frequent anti-corruption campaigns launched by the CCP since 2004 to improve its governing capacity. (Anna)
- (Lucy is just going to add some things since she’s reading about it right now)- no problem :)Foxconn is the world’s largest electronics manufacturer, example of China’s factory-labor regime: consolidation of megafactories, competition among local governments, and harsh working and living conditions. 8 suicides in 2010
- -takes advantage of local government’s generous tax abatement, cheap land, and a plentiful labor supply
- -Foxconn had quickly become the largest electronomics maker in the world by aggressively competing with rival companies and relocating to western provinces.
- - Workers have long hours, working up to 10 hours a day, perform repetitive tasks, and are subject to mistreatment by managers.
Central committee, Politburo, and Standing Committee of Politburo
- Central Committee - A step higher than the National Party Congress; contains 204 full and 167 alternating leaders. The leaders meet annually for about a week, and although their meetings (plenums) are brief, the Committee can be an important arena for political maneuvering and decision making. Moreover, members are elected for five year terms by the National Party Congress. The Central Committee’s seats are closely controlled to ensure political compliance with the National Party Congress.
- *Politburo (Political Bureau) - Currently there are 25 members, seven of which belong to the Standing Committee. Power resides largely in the fact that its members generally simultaneously hold positions within the PRC state positions and with the control over personnel appointments that the Politburo and Secretariat have. Additionally, some Politburo members hold powerful regional positions. How the Politburo works internally is unclear, but it appears that they meet once a month while the standing committee meets weekly.
- *Standing Committee - 7 man committee consisting of the top leadership of the CCP. Believed to meet once a week and makes decisions by consensus. Each member has a portfolio covering a major area of national concern such as economy, legislation, corruption, internal security, or propaganda. Currently, the Standing Committee acts as the powerful decision-making body in China, and its decisions de facto have the force of law.
- *Both are the party’s highest leading executive bodies
- *Members for both are elected from and by the Central Committee, elections are secretive
- *Neither are accountable to the Central Committee or to any other institution, and their workings are secretive
- *The party leader presides over both committees (Party Secretary is the most powerful person followed by the president/premier)
see Oct. 1 inequalities powerpoint. slides 9 and 10. In the first, we see how China’s Gini coefficient - a measure of inequality calculated by the distribution of wealth across a population, from its poorest members to its wealthiest - surpassed the USA’s curve in 1995 and has since skyrocketed up to around 0.55. In the second slide, we see the Gini index as the dependent variable and the logarithm of GDP per capita - literally a measure of how wealthy a nation is, dependent on how many citizens it comprises, and effectively a way to understand how healthy and developed a nation’s economy is. We see there that, although China’s economy is growing and becoming healthier, it does not follow a typical track of curving back down toward less inequality as economies reach development. Neither does the USA, but China’s is way too high and appears to have ‘momentum’ in that direction. - Mack(In addition--She also emphasized in lecture that it measures distribution and is not telling us that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, as that is not true)
Dibao 低保or MLSP
(Ren 161) “Minimum Living Standard Program” or “protecting low-income families”; a subsidy designed to “close the gap between a residents income and the poverty line.” While over 500 cities have such a program, the implementation of it is up to municipal governments, which means that who gets subsidies and in what amounts varies greatly across the country. Ren notes that urban residents, on average, receive about twice as much compensation as their rural counterparts, and that “only in a few of the largest cities, such as Shanghai and Beijing, have city governments devoted substantial funding for the MLSP.”
“social volcano scenario”
Whyte considers this scenario in which people become increasingly upset about the wealth gap and public discontent erupts into change, precipitated by the Gini coefficient.
CMR (crude marriage rate) and CDR (crude divorce rate)
- CMR: annual number of marriages per 1,000 people in the given geographical area
- CDR: annual number of divorces per 1,000 people. Spike in CDR after the Ministry of Civil Affairs removed the requirement that couples seeking to either marry or divorce needed written approval from their village head or employer
- * while the Crude Divorce Rate (CDR) in China has doubled over the past decade, marriage remains nearly universal and rates of remarriage are increasing (Sherril)
xinghun and jiahun (from Engebretsen 2013 conference paper)
“lesbian-gay contract marriages” where they agree to marry in order to please parents, fulfill filial responsibility, etc. It seeks to ease social pressure to marry by relatives or parents, but Engebretsen actually argues that it creates more difficulty. Often times the lesbians in the relationship face restricted autonomy and status. Differences in the type of relationship causes conflicts and given the patriarchal structures in China usually the woman loses out (i.e. whether they live together, share finances, etc.). (Eric)
Three-self patriotic churches
(Anna: not too sure about this, just wiki’ed) Protestant Church that is one of two of the only state-sanctioned Protestant churches in China; accused of helping state; has been accused of helping the state persecute other denominations of Christianity or Christians that practice outside of state-accepted organizations
A politically radical sect of qigong, a body cultivation movement that was the most prevalent form of urban religiosity in from the 1970s to the 1990s. Qigong originated as a traditional method of discipline for mind and body, but developed into a religious practice as qigong masters gained following and the exercises developed cosmological significance. Falungong has an added layer of moralistic and political teachings; it stands against the corruption of the state and growing materialism. Although the government supported Falungong in its early days, as the religion became more radical in its teachings and gained supporters. it came to view Falungong as a major threat. In 1999, the government cracked down on Falungong, banning the practice and persecuting supporters. To this day, the practice is banned and the word is blocked on the Internet.
red capitalists (see Dickson)
the integration of entrepreneurs into the CCP. Dickson uses this distinction to describe the capitalists who have been embraced by the communist party. Dickson points out that the capitalists, who would normally be a threat to the CCP, now may have no desire to change the status quo. They probably will not want to call for a change in the governance of the society if they operate well under the current party.
Lucy: Those who left government posts to become entrepreneurs, tend to be supportive of the party and be more successful as they have more connections with those in government.
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