State-Society Relations and the Discourses and Activities of a Movement

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:
State-Society Relations and the Discourses and Activities of a Movement

Show Summary Details


The May 4th Movement of 1919, the December 9th Movement of 1935–1936, and the 1989 Beijing Student Movement are the three largest student movements in the history of twentieth-century China. Why did the 1989 Movement have a particular pattern of activities and what was the impact of those activities on the dynamics of the movement? So far, scholars have approached this type of question from a cultural perspective. For example, to prevent other Beijing populations from joining the demonstration, students often set up picket lines and made anyone who wanted to join a march show his or her student identity card. This chapter asks why movement participants adopt certain forms of rhetoric and action and not others, focusing on the role of state-society relations. After a short introduction to the two earlier student movements, it examines the patterns of movement rhetoric and activities during the 1989 Movement. It then describes the different state-society relationships underlying the May 4th, December 9th, and 1989 movements.

Keywords: student movements; China; state-society relations; 1989 Beijing Student Movement; rhetoric; identity card

Chapter.  13182 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.