Clientelist Bureaucracy: The Factory Social Order

Andrew G. Walder

in Communist Neo-Traditionalism

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 1988 | ISBN: 9780520064706
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520909007 | DOI:
Clientelist Bureaucracy: The Factory Social Order

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This chapter discusses three distinctive features of the communist factory's institutional culture and explains their significance from a comparative perspective. It explores the relations between activists and the rank and file; the social antagonisms directed toward activists; and the ways that these antagonisms are reflected in social relations in the factory. The ongoing exchange of loyalty for advantage, the personal aspects of the relationship, and the tendency for workers to apply to it the same terms that were used to describe patron-client ties before the revolution are elaborated. China's factories are prone to factionalism within the official clientelist network. The clientelist network that links activists to the party and management has no parallel in the United States or Japan. Particularism and other characteristics of traditional social roles have become firmly embedded in the modern enterprise itself.

Keywords: communist factory; institutional culture; social antagonisms; activists; social relations; clientelist network; China

Chapter.  11402 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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