Feb 24 Workshop

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society Presents

 

“Evolution of the Interindustry Wage Structure in China Since the 1980’s”

 

Belton Fleisher

Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics

Ohio State University

 

4:30-6pm, Tuesday

February 24, 2015

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

 

Abstract

Industry mean wages in China have exhibited sharply increased dispersion since the early1990s. Researchers have attributed this rising inequality within the industrial wage structure (IWS) to (1) increasingly competitive labor markets leading to better matches between worker pay, worker skills, and employer demands; or (2) residual government control in some industrial sectors that has generated high wages through monopoly rent sharing. We argue that the rise in China’s industrial wage dispersion is primarily attributable to increasingly competitive labor markets which have led to greater returns to schooling and to efficient redistribution of workers across major industry groups. We cannot reject the null hypothesis that the level or changes in government monopoly power has had negligible impact on China’s rising industrial wage dispersion.

 

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.

Feb 10 Workshop

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society Presents

 

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

 

Robert Weller

Professor, Department of Anthropology

Boston University

 

4:30-6pm, Tuesday

February 10, 2015

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

Abstract

This paper discusses four of the most important global trends as they were accommodated, adjusted, and transformed on both sides of the Taiwan Strait: the removal of religion from politics (secularization), the attempt to confine it to a purely religious sphere (religionization), the increased interest in textual authority and religious self-consciousness (rationalization), and an increase in the direct physical manifestations of belief through unmediated physical experience (embodiment). The current similarities show the relative importance of shared cultural traditions and shared global influences over differing forms of political control. Nevertheless, some significant differences have also appeared in the religious ecology of the two places, especially in the relative importance of local temple worship, Buddhism, and Christianity. One result is that Taiwan’s adaption to global religious change has had much stronger indigenous Chinese roots than we see on the mainland.

 

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.

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.

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.

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

 

Dec 2 Workshop

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society Presents

Elite Recruitment and Political Stability:

The Impact of the Abolition of China’s Civil Service Exam System

 

Ruixue Jia

Assistant Professor

School of International Relations and Pacific Studies

University of California, San Diego 

 

4:30-6pm, Tuesday

December 2, 2014

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

Abstract

This paper studies how the abolition of an elite recruitment system – China’s civil exam system that lasted over 1,300 years – affects political stability. Employing a panel dataset across 262 prefectures and exploring the variations in the quotas on the entry- level exam candidates, we find that higher quotas per capita were associated with a higher probability of revolution participation after the abolition and higher incidence of uprisings in 1911 that marked the end of the 2,000 years of imperial rule. This finding is robust to various checks including using the number of small rivers and short-run exam performance before the quota system as instruments. The patterns in the data appear most consistent with a model in which the abolition affected citizens’ prospect of upward mobility (POUM) more in regions with higher quotas under the exam system. In addition, we document that modern human capital also contributed to the revolution and that social capital strengthened the effect of quotas on the participation in the revolution.

 

 

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.

Nov 18 Workshop

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society Presents

 

‘It works because it works badly’: Meaning of Business Trip in Sino-Korean Food Trade

 

Heangjin Park

PhD Student

Department of Anthropology

University of Chicago

 

4:30-6pm, Tuesday

November 18, 2014

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

Abstract

In this paper, I will discuss the configurations, intentions, and meanings of the business trip made by Korean traders who import food products from China. Making frequent business trips (“chuljang”) to China, Korean traders aspire to manipulate the chain of production and transportation to be more in accordance with their goals—minimizing the “friction” between production and consumption that have been created by their own outsourcing strategy. At the same time, the business trip is regarded as an “unmediated” interaction with their partners, a means by which Korean traders deliver their complaints and requirements, and build an affective relationship (“guanxi”) with their partners. However, their ideal of the business trip is to be consistently in disjuncture from realities because of miscommunication and misunderstanding. Why and how do they continue to make business trips which do not function as they expect? How does a “failure” function in globalized economic transactions? I will answer these questions based on my own fieldwork experience with Korean and Chinese traders in food industry.

 

 

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.

Nov 4 Workshop

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society Presents

 

Governing on the Edge: State and Informal Housing in China and Brazil

 

Yue Zhang

Associate Professor

Department of Political Science

University of Illinois at Chicago

 

4:30-6pm, Tuesday

November 4, 2014

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

 

Abstract

More than half of the world’s population lives in cities today and most of this expansion has occurred in urban centers of the Global South. One of the most important and common characteristics of urban growth in southern metropolises is the development of informal housing that falls outside of government control or regulation. The phenomenon of urban informality not only challenges our notion of what constitutes a city but also provides a unique lens to interrogate property ownership and state-society relations. Drawing from her ongoing book project, Yue Zhang will discuss the production and governance of informal housing settlements in China and Brazil. The study demonstrates that informality must be understood not as the object of state regulation but rather as produced by the state itself. In contrast to the standard dichotomy between the formal and the informal, the study reveals the differentiation within informality. Different types of informal mobilization and informal politics in China and Brazil have shaped the urban land regime in various ways, eventually creating different forms of informal housing.

 

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.

The East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society and the Chicago Chinese Social Research Group Present:

Reporting From China: A Conversation with David Barboza, New York Times Shanghai Correspondent

Date: Friday, October 24th, 2014, 4:30 – 6pm
Location: The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, Lecture Hall (room 142), 1155 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

This event is free and open to the public. Please R.S.V.P. online at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1TOaN1sql6q_y52EJzvFQ3NTFgESYXbzNNp9vpb7gEUg/viewform by 5pm on October 22nd.

For inquiries, email Wen Xie at wxie@uchicago.edu. Persons with disabilities who may need assistance should contact the Office of Programs & External Relations at 773-753-2274 in advance.

Oct 21 Workshop

East Asia Workshop: Politics, Economy and Society Presents

 

Settling Symbolic Battles in Workplaces: The Spatial Dynamics of Organizational Responses to Institutional Demands

 

Yuhao Zhuang

Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences

University of Chicago

 

4:30-6pm, Tuesday

October 21, 2014

Pick Lounge, 5828 South University Ave.

 

Abstract

The study of organizational responses to institutional demands has been a central concern of organizational sociology. This article examines the mobilization of response strategies in organizations and asks: Under what conditions would organizations fail to respond to external institutional pressures? Data from a two-year ethnography of two Chinese grassroots voluntary groups provide answers and reveal that organizational members were engaged in “symbolic battles” in which these actors perceived an external demand from a state agency differently according to their relevant previous work experiences and strengthened their own perceptions by attaching symbolic meanings to others’ viewpoints. Organizations were more likely to escalate the symbolic battles and discourage the mobilization of organizationally accepted responses when the departments of organizations were spatially isolated from each other. In this circumstance, the spatially fragmented workplace could unify opinions in each department while inhibiting effective negotiations across different departments. These findings advance current understandings of micro-level institutional change by discovering how divergence of members’ opinions and spatial arrangement of workplace may affect response-making processes within organizations.

 

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.

Older Posts »