China's State-Society Relations and Their Changes During the 1980s

Dingxin Zhao

in The Power of Tiananmen

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2001 | ISBN: 9780226982601
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226982625 | DOI:
China's State-Society Relations and Their Changes During the 1980s

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This chapter examines how particular state-society relations contributed to the rise of the 1989 Beijing Student Movement and shaped its development. It first looks at the history of China's historical state-society relations before the rise of the 1989 Movement and provides an overview of Chinese society in the 1980s. For the purpose of understanding the origin of the 1989 Movement and mass participation during it, the chapter focuses on the social changes brought about by the largely state-led reform. The scale and impact of the social changes brought by the economic reform was revealed by waves of “social fevers” during the 1980s. Both the high culture fevers and the popular culture fevers resulted from a sudden influx of new information from the West and a simultaneous rediscovery of the Chinese past. This chapter also discusses China's transition to a market economy.

Keywords: China; 1989 Beijing Student Movement; state-society relations; social changes; economic reform; market economy; state-led reform; high culture; popular culture

Chapter.  5973 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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