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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Making Ethnic Tourism Good For The Poor, Jean Junying Lor, Shelly Kwa, John A. Donaldson May 2019

Making Ethnic Tourism Good For The Poor, Jean Junying Lor, Shelly Kwa, John A. Donaldson

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

How can ethnic tourism alleviate rural poverty? Due to the difficulty of simultaneously expanding tourism while promoting pro-poor tourism, most villages traverse one of two developmental pathways: 1) ensuring an inclusive structure before expanding, or 2) expanding before building an inclusive structure. This study compares four comparable cases in Southwestern China to understand the politics behind the decision to choose different pathways, and the impact each pathways has on local residents. While the first pathway requires a careful balance to maintain a pro-poor structure as tourism volume expands, the second pathway presents apparently insurmountable barriers to poverty reduction due to ...


Migration: 2017 The New York Times Asia-Pacific Writing Competition, New York Times Apr 2018

Migration: 2017 The New York Times Asia-Pacific Writing Competition, New York Times

Student Publications

This is a yearly writing competition organised by International New York Times (INYT). This year's topic is "Migration" and SMU's law student Averill Chow Mingni was the winner in the University category. See her essay:

  • New homes, better lives by Averill Chow Mingni on page 16-17


Farmers' Cooperatives In China: A Typology Of Fraud And Failure, Zhanping Hu, Qian Forrest Zhang, John A. Donaldson Jul 2017

Farmers' Cooperatives In China: A Typology Of Fraud And Failure, Zhanping Hu, Qian Forrest Zhang, John A. Donaldson

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

Since the 1990s, agricultural cooperatives—particularly what China calls Farmers’ Specialized Cooperatives—have experienced rapid expansion in China. After more than two decades of growth and policy support, what is the overall performance of the ever-increasing numbers of these cooperatives? We visited 50 cooperatives across the country, most of which had officially been lauded as successful, to make a first-hand evaluation of their overall status and performance. We argue that, judging by either international or Chinese standards, the vast majority of these agricultural cooperatives are not authentic and fail to deliver expected benefits to smallholders. We categorize them into five ...


Love, Money, And Parental Goods: Does Parental Matchmaking Matter?, Fali Huang, Ginger Zhe Xu, Lixin Colin Xu May 2017

Love, Money, And Parental Goods: Does Parental Matchmaking Matter?, Fali Huang, Ginger Zhe Xu, Lixin Colin Xu

Research Collection School Of Economics

While parental matchmaking has been widespread throughout history and across countries, we know little about the relationship between parental matchmaking and marriage outcomes. Does parental involvement in matchmaking help ensure their needs are better taken care of by married children? This paper finds supportive evidence using a survey of Chinese couples. In particular, parental involvement in matchmaking is associated with having a more submissive wife, a greater number of children, a higher likelihood of having any male children, and a stronger belief of the husband in providing old age support to his parents. These benefits, however, are achieved at the ...


Providing Rural Public Services Through Land Commodification: Policy Innovations And Rural-Urban Integration In Chengdu, Qian Forrest Zhang, Jianling Wu Dec 2016

Providing Rural Public Services Through Land Commodification: Policy Innovations And Rural-Urban Integration In Chengdu, Qian Forrest Zhang, Jianling Wu

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

Zhang and Wu offer a detailed account of the innovative local policies in Chengdu, China, where a national land-use policy that has created widespread problems in other trial areas has been turned into a positive, transformative force in rural reconstruction. There are three key innovations in this so-called ‘Chengdu model’: First, leveraging on the most important resource in rural area, land, and through the commodification of land development rights, creating a financial source that can fund rural public services provision; second, transforming traditional rural residential patterns and concentrating the rural population in newly built residential communities; and, finally, using both ...


Inventing The ‘Authentic’ Self: American Television And Chinese Audiences In Global Beijing, Yang Gao Nov 2016

Inventing The ‘Authentic’ Self: American Television And Chinese Audiences In Global Beijing, Yang Gao

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

This article examines the ways educated urban Chinese youths engage American television fiction as part of their identity work. Drawing on theories of modern reflexive identity, and based on 29 interviews with US TV fans among university students in Beijing, I found these youths are drawn to this television primarily because they perceive the American way of life portrayed on it as more ‘authentic’. This perception of authenticity must be examined within the socio-cultural milieu these students inhabit. Specifically, torn between China’s ingrained collectivist culture and its recent neoliberal emphasis on the individual self, my respondents glean from US ...


’A Beautiful Bridge’: Chinese Indonesian Associations, Social Capital And Strategic Identification In A New Era Of China Indonesia Relations, Charlotte Setijadi Nov 2016

’A Beautiful Bridge’: Chinese Indonesian Associations, Social Capital And Strategic Identification In A New Era Of China Indonesia Relations, Charlotte Setijadi

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

In Indonesia, Chinese voluntary associations took on a new level of importance after the fall of Suharto’s New Order regime in 1998 that ushered in a revival of Chinese identity politics. At the same time, Sino-Indonesian relations are blossoming, and the rise of China as a global power means that Indonesia can only benefit from stronger ties with China in the future. In this new atmosphere of cooperation, I argue that Chinese Indonesian individuals and voluntary organizations play a crucial function as trade and cultural intermediaries. Drawing on both empirical and qualitative fieldwork data, in this paper, I examine ...


Fiction As Reality: Chinese Youths Watching American Television, Yang Gao Feb 2016

Fiction As Reality: Chinese Youths Watching American Television, Yang Gao

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

American television fiction is gaining traction among educated urban Chinese youths. Drawing on 29 interviews with fans among college students in Beijing, this article examines a shared perception among these youths that American television is ‘‘real.’’ This perceived realism, which is essential to their viewing pleasure, has two sources: American programming’s textual quality and the Chinese context in which it is consumed. First, US television appeals to Chinese youths because they perceive its topical content and complex characterization as true to life. This perception can be explained by the higher transnational cultural capital of these youths, which renders US ...


On The Social And Political Effects Of Opening In Rural China, Housi Cheng, Qian Forrest Zhang, John A. Donaldson Dec 2015

On The Social And Political Effects Of Opening In Rural China, Housi Cheng, Qian Forrest Zhang, John A. Donaldson

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

What are the economic, social and political effects when previously isolated villages are opened to the outside world? Scholars from different traditions expect different sorts of positive or negative affects to occur. Rural China presents an ideal environment to study this question empirically. Villages within rural China are in the process of being opened to the outside world in different forms, such as through being connected by road, the investment of agribusiness, or urbanization. Moreover this opening is being driven and shaped by different actors, including local residents, government and businesses. The different ways and actors that this opening occurs ...


Class Differentiation In Rural China: Dynamics Of Accumulation, Commodification And State Intervention, Forrest Qian Zhang Jul 2015

Class Differentiation In Rural China: Dynamics Of Accumulation, Commodification And State Intervention, Forrest Qian Zhang

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

This paper develops a classification of the emerging agrarian class positions in China today. Using an instrument based on rural households' combination of market positions in four markets – land, labour, means of production and product – I identify five agrarian classes: the capitalist employer class, the petty‐bourgeois class of commercial farmers, two labouring classes of dual‐employment households and wage workers, and subsistence peasants. This classification is then used as a heuristic device to organize the empirical analysis that examines how dynamics of agrarian change drive class differentiation in rural China. For the capitalist employer class, the analysis focuses on ...


Bringing Agriculture Back In: The Central Place Of Agrarian Change In Rural China Studies, Qian Forrest Zhang, Carlos Oya, Jingzhong Ye Jul 2015

Bringing Agriculture Back In: The Central Place Of Agrarian Change In Rural China Studies, Qian Forrest Zhang, Carlos Oya, Jingzhong Ye

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

Since the mid-2000s, rural development and politics in China has entered a new phase that revolves around what the central government calls ‘agricultural modernization’. Transforming the once-dominant smallholding, family-based agriculture has become a focal point of the government's programme of rural rejuvenation, where a range of economic changes unleashed by urbanization and industrialization also converge. We argue that in this new context, agrarian change has become the key vantage point from which to study rural China. We review key contributions of the papers in this special issue and highlight their insights on rural differentiation, land politics and rural livelihoods ...


Rural China In Transition: Changes And Transformations In China’S Agriculture And Rural Sector, John A. Donaldson, Forrest Q. Zhang Apr 2015

Rural China In Transition: Changes And Transformations In China’S Agriculture And Rural Sector, John A. Donaldson, Forrest Q. Zhang

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

Agribusiness companies operating in China are transacting in various forms with small agricultural producers, and in doing so, transforming the household-based agriculture in rural China. We argue that the presence of these distinct forms and the diverging relations between agribusiness and producers show the central importance of China’s collective land rights. China’s unique system of land rights – featuring collective ownership but individualized usage rights – has acted as a powerful force in shaping interactions between agribusiness and direct producers. It provides farmers a source of economic income as well as political bargaining power – albeit to various degrees – and restricts ...


The Strength Of Sibling Ties: Sibling Influence On Status Attainment In A Chinese Family, Qian Forrest Zhang Feb 2014

The Strength Of Sibling Ties: Sibling Influence On Status Attainment In A Chinese Family, Qian Forrest Zhang

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

What allowed eight siblings from a politically disadvantaged rural family to overcome institutional barriers and achieve upward mobility during Maoist China? What then restricted their children’s chances of upward mobility during the Reform era, when both family background and institutional environment were more favourable? In studying this anomalous case, whose experiences contradicted the well-documented effects of state policies and yet cannot be explained by parental influence, this study examines how adult siblings influenced each other’s status attainment processes, an issue largely neglected in the literature. Through comparing the micro-level mobility processes of the two generations in this family ...


The Transformation Of Urban Vegetable Retail In China: Wet Markets, Supermarkets, And Informal Markets In Shanghai, Qian Forrest Zhang, Zi Pan Apr 2013

The Transformation Of Urban Vegetable Retail In China: Wet Markets, Supermarkets, And Informal Markets In Shanghai, Qian Forrest Zhang, Zi Pan

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

The state-monopolised system of vegetable retail in socialist urban China has transformed into a market-based system run by profit-driven actors. Publicly owned wet markets not only declined in number after the state relegated its construction to market forces, but were also thoroughly privatised, becoming venues of capital accumulation for the market operators now controlling these properties. Self-employed migrant families replaced salaried state employees in the labour force. Governments’ increased control over urban public space reduced the room for informal markets, exacerbating the scarcity of vegetable retail space. Fragmentation in the production and wholesale systems restricted modern supermarkets’ ability to establish ...


China’S Agrarian Reform And The Privatization Of Land: A Contrarian View, Qian Forrest Zhang, John A. Donaldson Mar 2013

China’S Agrarian Reform And The Privatization Of Land: A Contrarian View, Qian Forrest Zhang, John A. Donaldson

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

Many media and scholars outside China are advocating for the privatization of land ownership in China, claiming it to be a necessary step before China can transform its agriculture into large-scale, market-oriented and technology-intensive modern agriculture. Chinese scholars advocating land privatization, on the other hand, typically argue that land privatization would offer farmers more protection of their rights. In this paper, we present a contrarian view to these calls for land privatization published in both mainstream media and academic journals. We argue that, under China’s current system of collective land ownership and individualized land use rights, the aforementioned goals ...


Women’S Entry Into Self-Employment In Urban China: The Role Of Family In Creating Gendered Mobility Patterns, Qian Forrest Zhang, Zi Pan Jan 2012

Women’S Entry Into Self-Employment In Urban China: The Role Of Family In Creating Gendered Mobility Patterns, Qian Forrest Zhang, Zi Pan

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

How did family characteristics affect women and men differently in self-employment participation in urban China? Analyses of national data show dual marriage penalties for women. Marketization made married women more vulnerable to lay-offs from state-sector jobs; their likelihood of being pushed into unskilled self-employment surpassed that of any other groups. The revitalized patriarchal family tradition favored men in family businesses and resulted in their higher rates of entering entrepreneurial self-employment. Married women who had the education to pursue entrepreneurial self-employment were constrained by family responsibilities to state-sector jobs for access to family services, and had much lower rates in entering ...


The Transformation Of China’S Agriculture System And Its Impact On Southeast Asia, Phoebe Mingxuan Luo, John A. Donaldson, Qian Forrest Zhang Aug 2011

The Transformation Of China’S Agriculture System And Its Impact On Southeast Asia, Phoebe Mingxuan Luo, John A. Donaldson, Qian Forrest Zhang

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

The increased role for agribusiness and larger scale production in China’s agricultural system is limited by China’s severe lack of arable land. The Household Responsibility System provides farmers a measure of power, hampering agribusiness from acquiring land needed for expansion. Some Chinese companies have sought cheaper and often more accessible land in nearby regions, including Southeast Asia. While such investments have the potential to deliver benefits, including increased productivity, structural constraints such as weak land ownership and environmental laws, highly unequal distribution of land and underdevelopment of peasant organizations prevent many poorer farmers from benefiting from these investments.


Status And Hierarchy: A Framework For Understanding Stratification And Inequality In Today’S China, Qian Forrest Zhang Jan 2011

Status And Hierarchy: A Framework For Understanding Stratification And Inequality In Today’S China, Qian Forrest Zhang

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

Social hierarchies and inequality in a society are shaped by the modes of production that extract and transfer surplus among social groups. In China under socialism, the redistributive economy established a powerful tributary mode of production (TMP) that extracted surplus from rural areas to cities and from commoner producers to cadre-officials. This TMP created two fundamental hierarchies in socialist China: the urban-rural divide and the official-commoner divide, both of which were based on politically defined statuses. China’s post-socialist transition has led to both a resurgence of the traditional petty-commodity mode of production (PCMP) and the rise of a novel ...


From Peasants To Farmers: Peasant Differentiation, Labor Regimes, And Land-Rights Institutions In China's Agrarian Transition, Q. Forrest Zhang, John A. Donaldson Dec 2010

From Peasants To Farmers: Peasant Differentiation, Labor Regimes, And Land-Rights Institutions In China's Agrarian Transition, Q. Forrest Zhang, John A. Donaldson

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

The development of factor markets has opened Chinese agriculture for the penetration of capitalism. This new round of rural transformation—China’s agrarian transition— raises the agrarian question in the Chinese context. This study investigates how capitalist forms and relations of production transform agricultural production and the peasantry class in rural China. The authors identify six forms of nonpeasant agricultural production, compare the labor regimes and direct producers’ socioeconomic statuses across these forms, and evaluate the role of China’s land-rights institution in shaping these forms. The empirical investigation presents three main findings: (1) Peasant differentiation : capitalist forms of agricultural ...


Beware Of Radical Change: China’S Agrarian Revolution, John A. Donaldson, Forrest Q. Zhang Nov 2008

Beware Of Radical Change: China’S Agrarian Revolution, John A. Donaldson, Forrest Q. Zhang

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

No abstract provided.


The Rise Of Agrarian Capitalism With Chinese Characteristics: Agricultural Modernization, Agribusiness And Collective Land Rights, Qian Forrest Zhang, John A. Donaldson Jul 2008

The Rise Of Agrarian Capitalism With Chinese Characteristics: Agricultural Modernization, Agribusiness And Collective Land Rights, Qian Forrest Zhang, John A. Donaldson

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

The article discusses the agricultural transformation taking place in the rural areas of China. Details about the Chinese laws regarding rural reform and the effect they have had on rural Chinese farmers and families are included. The authors examine the expansion of agrarian capitalism in China and describe the rise of agribusiness in rural Chinese areas. The practices of Chinese agribusinesses and the Chinese land rights laws are explored. The relationships between individual farmers and agribusinesses is also examined.


On Changes In Rural China: The Rise Of Agrarian Capitalism And Dissolution Of The Peasantry In Contemporary China, Forrest Zhang, John A. Donaldson Mar 2008

On Changes In Rural China: The Rise Of Agrarian Capitalism And Dissolution Of The Peasantry In Contemporary China, Forrest Zhang, John A. Donaldson

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

For decades, Mr. Hong and his family have toiled the ground of Dounan Village, an area of Yunnan Province that became well-known throughout China for the quality of its fresh vegetables. While Hong and his neighbors have, since the early 1980s, concentrated on the small plot of land that the state allocated to them, in recent years, Dounan village has begun producing vegetables in large enough scale to market to distant, wealthy coastal areas, bringing new-found prosperity to the area. After gaining experience producing vegetables both on the plot that the government allocated to his family, and on his neighbors ...


Social Logic As Business Logic: Guanxi, Trustworthiness And The Embeddedness Of Chinese Business Practices, Wai Keung Chung, Gary Hamilton Jan 2001

Social Logic As Business Logic: Guanxi, Trustworthiness And The Embeddedness Of Chinese Business Practices, Wai Keung Chung, Gary Hamilton

Research Collection School of Social Sciences

This chapter explores the nature of Chinese business practices by looking at their social foundations. We argue that the use of an inter-subjective logic based on the norms of social relationships provides an institutional foundation for economic transactions in Chinese business settings. The logic of social relationships-or what we call guanxi logic-is embedded in daily practices of the Chinese business community. Rather than making economic decisions less "economic", relational rules embedded in guanxi places interpersonal business transactions within a prescriptive framework, thereby increasing the calculability of economic outcomes. Guanxi logic is, therefore, a socially meaningful way to enhance economic rationality ...