The Decline of the System for Controlling Students in Universities

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:
The Decline of the System for Controlling Students in Universities

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This chapter examines the student control system in Chinese universities during the 1980s, showing how it was greatly weakened by changes in social structure brought about by the reform. This weakening facilitated the spread of non-conformist ideas from intellectual elites to the aggrieved students, thus contributing to the actual rise of the 1989 Beijing Student movement. The chapter first discusses the foundations and problems of the political control system in China. It then examines how a campus environment which had once facilitated control over students became conducive to student mobilization, and how political control institutions in Beijing universities were captured for mobilizational purposes after the decline of political control. Finally, it presents some quantitative evidence that directly links the effectiveness of political control to the level of student activism and that shows which facets of weakening control coincided with the spatial patterning of student activism.

Keywords: China; universities; student control system; political control system; intellectual elites; students; student activism; 1989 Beijing Student movement; student mobilization

Chapter.  8602 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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