East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society

January 20, 2015
by wxie
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Jan 27 Workshop

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society Presents

 

A Protest Society and Workers’ Strikes in China

 

Chih-Jou Jay Chen (陳志柔)

Visiting Scholar, Harvard-Yenching Institute

Associate Research Fellow, Academia Sinica

 

4:30-6pm, Tuesday

January 27, 2015

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

 

Abstract

 

This study examines the institutionalization of popular protest and state response in China, using a database of 5,000 news events on mass protests from 2000 to 2013 and an in-depth field report of a massive strike occurred in Guangdong in April 2014. I first highlight key features of popular protests in China, including the initial groups, claims, targets, scales, forms, locations, and protest policing. Then I examine the dynamic relationship between protest and repression, and shows that severe repression such as police arresting protesters has been selective, depending on the protests’ forms, sizes, targets, and group background. I argue that the institutionalization of protest and repression in China has become segmented, and has evolved unevenly and inconsistently, thus exposing government’s intent and strategies in tolerating or containing social unrest. For the second part of this talk, I show the protest mobilization and government response of an unusual massive 10-day strike involving 40 thousand workers may be attributed to a series of mechanism, including: 1) spontaneous mobilization of workers; 2) ecology of factory that nurtured close-knit worker networks; 3) support from independent labor organizations; 4) rights claims based on legalism; and 5) mobilization through emotions, cultural symbols, and rumors. On the other hand, nowadays the employer and local government have had different interests and incentives, and thus could not efficiently collude on curbing a massive strike like in the old days. The local state, although unable to prevent a strike from happening, is still able to contain a massive strike, relying on its police, official trade unions, and Party system. This study shows that the institutionalization of rising popular protests is crucial to maintain social stability and to strengthen the legitimacy for the Chinese state.

 

 

Workshop website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia/

Student coordinator: Wen Xie (wxie@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Dali Yang, Dingxin Zhao and Zheng Michael Song

 

This presentation is sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences and Center for East Asian Studies. Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance please contact the student coordinator in advance.

January 6, 2015
by wxie
0 comments

Jan 13 Workshop

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society Presents

 

Toward an Integrated Theory of New Organizational Form: the Crystallization of Mass Teaching in New Oriental before its Diffusion in China’s Education and Training Industry, 1980-2000

 

Le Lin

PhD Candidate

Department of Sociology

University of Chicago

 

4:30-6pm, Tuesday

January 13, 2015

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

 

Abstract

In this paper, I explain why mass teaching emerged as a trendy organizational form in China’s education and training industry from 1980 to 2000. Previous theories of new organizational form have focused on selection and succession among multiple existing forms, but they all neglect how pioneering organizations crystalized a new form into a full-fledged model that can be imitated and diffused. To fill this missing theoretical link, I examine why and how New Oriental, now China’s largest educational corporation, incorporated certain organizational elements, adopted certain strategic direction, and developed an advanced form of mass teaching to such an extent that this form fueled New Oriental’s dominance of the studying-abroad test-prep segment and it was later imitated across the industry. The underlying mechanism, I argue, is New Oriental’s adaptation process along the direction of a particular r-K composition. Specifically, the founder of New Oriental initially employed r-strategies to recruit a large number of students. Through using his own teaching style as the benchmark for internal competition and later through succession of teachers, he further upgraded his quality control K-strategies, not toward measurable students’ gain or delivery of educational content, but toward greater emphasis on the form of class presentation. The different level of inertia among different organizations enabled New Oriental but not others to carry this particular r-K composition—K-strategies in the r-direction—to a full-fledged form. My data is primarily drawn from historical archives, in-depth interviews and published works such as memoires. I include five additional cases to increase validity and reduce selection on dependent variable. Broader theoretical implication is discussed.

 

Workshop website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia/

Student coordinator: Wen Xie (wxie@uchicago.edu)

Faculty sponsors: Dali Yang, Dingxin Zhao and Zheng Michael Song

 

This presentation is sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences and Center for East Asian Studies. Persons with disabilities who believe they may need assistance please contact the student coordinator in advance.

January 6, 2015
by wxie
0 comments

Winter 2015 Schedule

EAST ASIA WORKSHOP: POLITICS, ECONOMY & SOCIETY

Winter 2015 Workshop Schedule

 

January 13

“Toward an Integrated Theory of New Organizational Form: the Crystallization of Mass Teaching in New Oriental before its Diffusion in China’s Education and Training Industry, 1980-2000”

Le Lin

PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology

University of Chicago

January 27

“A Protest Society and Workers’ Strikes in China”

Chih-Jou Chen

Associate Research Fellow, Institute of Sociology

Academia Sinica

February 10

“Global Religious Change, Local Politics, and Civil Life in China and Taiwan”

Robert Weller

Professor, Department of Anthropology

Boston University

February 24

“Evolution of the Industrial Wage structure in China Since 1980”

Belton Fleisher

Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics

Ohio State University

March 10

“Criminalizing the Muslim Violence as seen in the Legal Cases of Qing China, 1760 to 1830”

Geng Tian

PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology

University of Chicago

 

The workshop meets on alternate Tuesdays 4:30-6pm at Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Avenue. Abstracts are available on our website: http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/eastasia/. Questions and comments should be addressed to the coordinator Wen Xie: wxie@uchicago.edu

Faculty Sponsors:

Dali Yang (Political Science), daliyang@uchicago.edu

Dingxin Zhao (Sociology), dzhao@uchicago.edu

Zheng Michael Song (Booth School of Business), Zheng.Song@chicagobooth.edu

 

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