Chinese Civilization: A Sourcebook (2nd Edition) by Patricia Buckley Ebrey

By Patricia Buckley Ebrey

The normal for supplementary texts in chinese language historical past courses.  Now newly accelerated with extra material.  offers own records, social documents, legislation and records that historians frequently forget about. Even more priceless than its now vintage predecessor. 

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Additional info for Chinese Civilization: A Sourcebook (2nd Edition)

Sample text

Because the term “minjian shehui” has a clear traditional Chinese connotation, Liang and other scholars argue that it should be the standard translation of civil society. Yet, in Chinese culture, the concept “min” (people) contrasts with “guan” (officials or government). Some Chinese scholars argue that popular society clearly connotes opposition to governments and officials. Gan Yang, a political scientist, thus disagrees with adopting popular society as a Chinese version of civil society. ” He is convinced that adoption of this term would only undermine the real meaning of civil society, namely, one which assumes mutually dependent and constructive relations between the state and society (Gan 1998: 24–35).

According to Wakeman, state coercive power has grown steadily, and most Chinese citizens appear to conceive of social existence mainly in terms of obligation and interdependence rather than rights and responsibilities (Wakeman 1993: 133–4). 16 An impressive amount of publications not only shed new light on state– society relations during that time, but also provide valuable references for the study of NGOs today (Xu and Qian 1991; Zhu 1991 and 1997; Zhang In search of civil society in China 35 and Liu 1992; He 1992; Yu Heping 1993; Ma and Zhu 1993; Ma 1995; Sang 1995 a and b; Chen 1996; Zhang, Ma and Zhu 2000 a and b; Wang 2001; Zhao 2002).

The scholarly debates fueled intellectual inquiry in mainland China by introducing a host of Western ideas and concepts on civil society, corporatism, the third sector, and NGOs. Moreover, these discussions brought new perspectives to understanding events in postreform China and opened new research fields in Chinese academia. As later chapters will elaborate, many Chinese intellectuals are actively involved in China’s NGO activities, and ideas about civil society have thus spread among NGO practitioners.

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