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Community Capitalism in China
The State, the Market, and Collectivism


  • Date Published: September 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107448780

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About the Authors
  • Hou proposes to end the dichotomous view of the state and the market, and capitalism and communism, by examining the local institutional innovation in three villages in China and presents community capitalism as an alternative to the neoliberal model of development. Community is both the unit of redistribution and the entity that mobilizes resources to compete in the market; collectivism creates the boundary that sets the community apart from the outside and justifies and sustains the model. Community capitalism differs from Mao-era collectivism, when individual interests were buried in the name of collective interests and market competition was not a concern. This book demonstrates the embeddedness of the market in community, showing how social relations, group solidarity, power, honor, and other values play an important role in these villages' social and economic organization.

    • Provides an alternative model of development to the neoliberal version: community capitalism
    • Offers insight into the social and economic organization at the grassroots level in China using three case studies
    • Discusses the intertwining of the economy and the state and demonstrates that the economic is embedded within the social
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Community Capitalism in China is a welcome addition to the body of research on economic reform in China. It is a beautiful example of the ways in which grounded research can both illuminate eye-opening stories about transforming economies and also advance our theoretical understanding of the forces driving that transformation. Professor Hou also boldly steps beyond the tired state-versus-market mindset, offering a fresh view of how China's economy works.' Doug Guthrie, George Washington University School of Business

    'The decollectivization of agriculture is constantly trumpeted as a key to China's economic growth under the reforms. Nevertheless, many of today's richest villages have actually retained or recreated collective forms of ownership. Professor Hou untangles this puzzle with an insightful and revealing analysis of how 'community capitalism' can allow a collective economy to thrive in contemporary China and in the world market.' Robert P. Weller, Boston University

    'This volume is a well-supported case study of China's 'transitory economy'. By carefully analyzing three highly industrialized villages in China, Dr Hou's well-articulated argument offers a radically original concept that contributes significantly to the understanding of the complexity and reality of Chinese society in the post-Mao era.' Xiao-huang Yin, Occidental College

    'Based on extensive fieldwork in three Chinese villages, Xiaoshuo Hou shows how local party leaders and villagers successfully promoted economic development and raised living standards during the era of reform.' Robert K. Schaffer, Pacific Affairs

    '… a rich and comprehensive study of an original path of development introduced by some small-size communities in rural China in order to adapt to the new rules of state-controlled capitalism and the privatization of social welfare benefits.' Thomas Boutonnet, The China Journal

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107448780
    • length: 168 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 10 mm
    • weight: 0.26kg
    • contains: 16 b/w illus. 6 maps 8 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The curse revisited: the dynamics of social change in China
    2. Circle on the outside, square on the inside
    3. Socialism with Huaxi characteristics
    4. Capitalism reborn or collectivism rediscovered
    5. Back to the future: community capitalism and the search for alternatives.

  • Author

    Xiaoshuo Hou, St Lawrence University, New York
    Xiaoshuo Hou is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at St Lawrence University. Her research interests include the sociology of development, economic sociology, the sociology of organizations and the socioeconomic transformations in China. She has published extensively in The Journal of Asian Studies, Theory and Society, Contemporary Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies, and Theory, Culture and Society. Currently, she is co-editing the five-volume Blackwell Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism. She received her PhD from Boston University.

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