Oct 4, Le Lin at Money, Markets, and Governance in collaboration with Politics, History, and Society: Robust Ambiguity and the Making of Capitalism: The Thriving of Private Enterprises in China’s Education and Training Industry
Please join us for our first meeting this quarter, which we are pleased to hold in collaboration with the Politics, History, and Society Workshop, TODAY, Tuesday, 10/4, in Social Science Research Building classroom 401. We will co-sponsor the presentation of Le Lin. See the details below and the paper attached.
Please notice that the starting time of this meeting is 5 pm. Our next meeting the following week will begin at 4:30pm.
PhD candidate, Department of Sociology, University of Chicago
Robust Ambiguity and the Making of Capitalism: The Thriving of Private Enterprises in China’s Education and Training Industry
Discussant: Peter Fugiel, PhD Candidate, Sociology, University of Chicago
Abstract: This article presents an alternative bottom-up development trajectory of China’s private economy. Discovery of this novel trajectory is empirically grounded in China’s education and training industry (ETI) and other similar robustly ambiguous industries—organizations therein were ambiguous both in terms of whether they were private and whether they were for-profit enterprises. Drawing on primary data on nine and secondary data on additional twelve organizations, I investigate why and how de facto private enterprises survived and became dominant in the ETI, despite the restrictions placed on private ownership and for-profit activities in this industry by the Chinese state. Initially budding in the shadow of the state education system, the ETI relied on the state and the second economy as dual sources for resources and organizational repertoires. By transposing resources and organizational repertoires from the second economy, de facto private enterprises adopted practices that deviated from the state’s formal regulations and the trust-based norms. I argue that de facto private enterprises not only benefited from the structural features of the robustly ambiguous ETI, but their deviant practices were also tolerated and made more effective under such structural condition. I discuss the implications of my study on China’s private economy, state-market relations and theories of organizational change.
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