From Asceticism to Paternalism: Changes in the Wake of Maoism

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:
From Asceticism to Paternalism: Changes in the Wake of Maoism

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The most striking departure from the Maoist decade is the party's changed stance toward the living standards of workers. The state enterprise continues to play a central role in the delivery of the free or highly subsidized goods and services. The shift from asceticism to paternalism is closely associated with the end of a labor strategy centered on moral-political mobilization. Activists manifest the most active loyalty to their superiors in the shop, assist them in the performance of their duties, and side publicly with leaders against the rank and file. The interpretation of China's evolution since Mao, as viewed from the shop floor, involves the use of a type concept, and the conceptualization of qualitative variation in the elements of that type. It is noted that the party's self-definition and deployment have changed, biaoxian and activism have been redefined, and there is more informal negotiation over wages.

Keywords: Maoist; state enterprise; asceticism; paternalism; labor; activists; China; Mao

Chapter.  7659 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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