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  Subjects -> SOCIOLOGY (Total: 553 journals)
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Journal of Chinese Sociology
Number of Followers: 2  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2198-2635
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2469 journals]
  • Global exposure: an alternative pathway to understanding cultural
           omnivorousness in East Asian societies

    • Abstract: Abstract Previous studies on cultural taste build a class-omnivorousness framework. However, the conceptualization and measure of cultural omnivorousness are highly Western. To examine how cultural omnivorousness is shaped in non-Western societies, this study develops two dimensions of cultural omnivorousness and expands the meaning of social class from socioeconomic status to global exposure. Using data from the East Asian Social Survey, this study finds that the level of global exposure is significantly correlated with vertical cultural omnivorousness (i.e., the appreciation of both highbrow and lowbrow music) in China, Japan, and South Korea; however, the correlation between the level of global exposure and horizontal cultural omnivorousness (i.e., the appreciation of both transnational and traditional music) varies among the three countries. The findings show the diverse nature of cultural consumption in East Asia and challenge the Western discourse in the cultural sphere.
      PubDate: 2022-09-16
  • “Competing personas”: aesthetic labor in the Chinese fitness

    • Abstract: Abstract Given the proliferation of lifestyle consumption, industries such as the fields of fitness, fashion, and beauty and makeup have experienced rapid growth in terms of employment numbers, leading to fundamental challenges to working patterns. Based on ethnographic data concerning two fitness clubs in Shanghai collected over 13 months and 35 in-depth interviews with managers, fitness trainers, and customers, this article draws on the concept of aesthetic labor to examine how a “persona,” a combination of an ideal physique and a desirable personality in line with the aesthetic tastes of socioeconomically diverse clientele, is developed through the labor process of the fitness trainer. The author introduces the term “competing personas” to characterize shopfloor politics in the fitness industry. By understanding the process of packaging and selling their bodily, gendered, and affective resources as a “game,” fitness trainers draw symbolic boundaries to distinguish themselves from each other, thereby justifying their aesthetic competencies and self-identities. This article distinguishes three types of personas: advisor, friend, and idol, and these types are characterized by different corporeal and affective strategies. The article reveals how the exercise of agency by both male and female workers in the process of persona-building fuels the symbolic reproduction of class and gender inequalities by naturalizing the domination of an ostensibly legitimate taste.
      PubDate: 2022-08-08
  • Two tales of platform regimes in China’s food-delivery platform

    • Abstract: Abstract This article brings the often-overlooked concept of the labor regime back to the study of China’s food-delivery platform workers. Two tales of platform regimes emerge: individualized platform despotism and bureaucratized platform despotism, which apply to crowdsourcing couriers and dedicated delivery couriers, respectively. This study compares these two types of platform regimes in terms of their institutional foundation and labor organization. Despite different institutional arrangements and labor organization, both types of food-delivery couriers belong to a despotic platform regime revealing workers’ subordination to the platform. In conclusion, it discusses the implications and limitations of this study.
      PubDate: 2022-08-01
  • Producing Korean literature (KLit) for export

    • Abstract: Abstract How does art from what have been culturally peripheral countries that were not former colonies of Western powers scale shift or find its way to the global center' What can the Korean case tell us about the circulation of contemporary literature in a “small language'” The scholarly literature offers many answers to these questions: the role of intermediaries, the power dynamics within the world system of translation, the topographies of literary circulation, and a range of other political, cultural, economic, and social factors. We propose that the Korean case sheds new light on these discussions in several important ways loosely subsumed under the umbrella of infrastructures—the platforms, passageways, containers, and gates that organize the writing, reading, publishing, and marketing of the literature. We see three kinds of infrastructures as catalysts of Korean literary success including infrastructures of export and promotion, infrastructures of discovery and consecration, and infrastructures of connection and vernacularization.
      PubDate: 2022-07-09
      DOI: 10.1186/s40711-022-00164-3
  • New forms of labor time control and imaginary freedom: a study of the
           labor process of food delivery workers

    • Abstract: Abstract In this field study of the labor process of food delivery workers, we examine the new rules of time and new forms of labor time control in the food delivery industry. Food delivery platforms attract laborers with the flexibility of working time and place but simultaneously strictly surveil the labor process of delivery workers, thus establishing a multidimensional body of control consisting of the platform and customers. At the same time, platform mechanisms of “grab the order” and “wait for the order” help platforms subtly control delivery workers’ experience, thoughts, and emotions. These mechanisms create a sense of time characterized by “punctuality” and “speed,” making delivery workers “all-day workers.” Delivery workers come to delivery platforms in search of work freedom, but in the end, they become constrained by platforms. Helpless, they voluntarily subject themselves to the time control of the platform, while the latter obtains profit under the guise of freedom.
      PubDate: 2022-07-06
      DOI: 10.1186/s40711-022-00163-4
  • The art worlds of gender performance: cosplay, embodiment, and the
           collective accomplishment of gender

    • Abstract: Abstract In recent years, cosplay has gained global visibility as a performing art in which fans dress up as fictional characters from anime, comics/manga, or games. Although scholars contend that cosplay exemplifies gender performativity and may even offer a new heuristic for understanding social interactions in general, they rarely examine how gender is performed in cosplay. Taking together the production of culture perspective and interactionist theories of gender, I detail how cosplay participants project gendered sensibilities through conventionalized body movements and modifications. Contrary to the prevailing focus on individual cosplayers, I demonstrate how makeup artists, photographers, and photo editors all contribute to the success of gender play in cosplay. Contrary to simplistic accounts of donning hyper-masculinity/hyper-femininity, I argue that cosplay participants’ pursuit of authenticity makes singular orientation to sex category insufficient and demands a version of masculinity/femininity that also attends to the character’s personality. Situated in the art worlds of cosplay’s production and evaluation, my findings invite scholars to consider the collaboration between cosplayers and their supporting crew as a conceptual heuristic that attunes our attention to the collective accomplishment of gender embodiment, whose multi-authorship is often obscured.
      PubDate: 2022-07-06
      DOI: 10.1186/s40711-022-00168-z
  • Guanxi in an age of digitalization: toward assortation and value homophily
           in new tie-formation

    • Abstract: Abstract How do people form personal ties' A consensus holds in sociological and social network scholarship that in-person networks are dominated by status homophily and that guanxi networks rely extensively on balance. This article argues that social networking sites (SNSs) reconceptualize the character of homophily and tie-formation altogether in guanxi networks. Drawing on 50 semi-structured interviews with Hong Kong youth from 2017 to 2020, this article examines how the technical capabilities of SNSs and principles of guanxi culture come together to erode status boundaries, create access to larger networks, and cause spillovers of information and tie strength. As a result, the basis of tie-formation in guanxi networks on SNSs shifts from balance to assortation and status homophily to value homophily. In this transformed calculus of tie-formation, two typologies of values rise to the fore: substantive values that reflect opinions and interests, as well as structural values that reflect networkability.
      PubDate: 2022-07-02
      DOI: 10.1186/s40711-022-00165-2
  • When the local encounters the global: aesthetic conflicts in the Chinese
           traditional music world

    • Abstract: Abstract Through a case study of the Chinese traditional music world, this study explores how artists in different specializations within an art world working on an indigenous art form make sense of divergent aesthetics. By adopting both Becker’s (Art worlds: 25th anniversary edition, updated and expanded, University of California Press, Berkeley, 2008) view of art worlds as substantially existing communities shared by artistic individuals and Bourdieu’s (Poetics 12(4–5):311–356, 1983) emphasis on artistic divergences stemming from broader social structures, I build a theoretical framework regarding how implicit aesthetic conflicts coexist with explicit collaborations in an art world. Under the impact of cultural globalization, the Chinese traditional music world’s conventions have experienced a historical revolution. Since then, music performers enact frames to defend the aesthetics that they consider “traditional” that emphasize stability in terms of the musical content but that have highly idiosyncratic styles of performance. However, other types of musicians—namely those involved in composing, conducting, theoretical research—are more likely to enact frames defending aesthetics that express a willingness to “Westernize” based on their understandings and emphasize on innovation in terms of musical content and systematic and routinized styles of performance. Their framings shape their different reactions to their art world’s conventions. By analyzing this process, I show how local–global dynamics constitute aesthetic conflicts in an art world that is often considered highly local and traditional.
      PubDate: 2022-06-25
      DOI: 10.1186/s40711-022-00169-y
  • Emerging in the East: the Shanghai Biennale’s pathways to
           legitimation, 1996 to 2018

    • Abstract: Abstract This study examines the 22-year development of the Shanghai Biennale from a localized contemporary art exhibition to an internationally renowned art biennale. Through the lens of organizational legitimacy, this research examines how the Shanghai Biennale negotiated changing external pressures to establish within China and grow into the international art world. Using a mix-methods approach, we first create a unique database of participant nationality and then examine artist and curatorial statements, media reports, and interviews with organizers and curators of the Shanghai Biennale from 1996 to 2018. Our study delineates three periods of the Shanghai Biennale’s development: incipient (1996–1998), internationalization (2000–2010), and expanding period (2012–2018). Through these periods we examine the different pathways by which the Shanghai Biennale attained legitimacy first within the local and national Chinese context and then within the Biennale’s expansion into the international art scene. We find at the beginning stage of the Shanghai Biennale, establishing local legitimacy was the foremost concern. When the Shanghai Biennale started to diffuse into the global art world in 2000, focus shifted towards remaking the Shanghai Biennale to comply with international perceptions. That said, our research finds both local and international legitimacy requirements remained salient simultaneously, with the importance of maintaining a good relationship with the Chinese State as a critical basis for internationalization and development. In the most recent editions, more local and non-Western features are included in the Shanghai Biennale, signaling the Biennale’s efforts of distinguishing itself in the global biennale scene. This research contributes to organizational study by closely examining a cultural organization’s ability to negotiate legitimacy requirements in different contexts, but also empirically responds to recent calls for studies on the global development of non-Western biennales.
      PubDate: 2022-06-24
      DOI: 10.1186/s40711-022-00167-0
  • Process institutionalism: toward an action-centric approach to state

    • Abstract: Abstract What is the relationship between actions and institutions in state extraction' State extraction is the process whereby revenue is extracted from constituents to the state. Studies on state extraction in the early modern era mostly adopt the institution-centric approach, which perceives actions as manifestations of institutional and structural characteristics in a social context. However, it does not explain the varying actions and the resultant diversified institutional changes beyond the behavioral and institutional repertoires determined by these characteristics. This article proposes the process institutionalism model as a new paradigm for understanding the relationship between actions and institutions in state extraction. This model employs an action-centric approach, which maintains that actions lead to changes in institutions and the actors’ consciousness. It also demonstrates the qualitative contradictions among the incentives in the efficiency and legitimacy dimensions of an action and adopts an eventful explanation of actors’ understandings of and selections among the contradictory incentives during the temporal process of actions. Process institutionalism engages theoretical and empirical research on the relationship between actions and institutions by reviewing existing literature on state extraction in history, especially the history of the early modern period, the critical juncture whereby states and other related institutions experienced dramatic changes and displayed regional diversity.
      PubDate: 2022-03-24
      DOI: 10.1186/s40711-022-00162-5
  • Reform of China’s taxation system: from embedment in the economy to
           embedment in society

    • Abstract: Abstract To match national development goals and increase in the tax base, the government must embed a taxation system in economic and social contexts. Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, the development of taxation can be divided into three stages: one that is embedded in danwei, one that is embedded in enterprises, and one that is embedded in society. The corresponding national development goals include stimulating economic growth, promoting coordinated economic and social development, and propelling state governance. As the tax base in China shifts from production to redistribution and wealth accumulation in the circulation of the national income, the taxation system will gradually shift from embedment in the economy to embedment in society, posing new challenges to taxation system reform. Future reform should deepen the extent to which taxation is embedded in society while keeping taxation embedded in a broad economic base. This will help to achieve the goal of building a “consensually strong state.”
      PubDate: 2022-03-19
      DOI: 10.1186/s40711-022-00161-6
  • The mediation of matchmaking: a comparative study of gender and
           generational preference in online dating websites and offline blind date
           markets in Chengdu

    • Abstract: Abstract Online dating has modernized traditional partner search methods, allowing individuals to seek a partner that aligns with their preferences for attributes such as age, height, location, or education. Yet traditional forms of partner selection still exist, with continued parental involvement in the matching process. In this paper, we exploit different matchmaking methods with varying degrees of youth autonomy versus parental involvement. We use a unique dataset collected in Chengdu, China, where profiles from the blind date market (n = 158) capture parental preferences and profiles from an online dating website (n = 500) capture individual preferences. Regarding gender, we find that men generally display a desire for women younger, shorter, and less educated than themselves, while women desire older and taller men of the same education as themselves. With regards to parental influences, we find parents specify a narrower range of accepted partner attributes. Further, we find an interaction effect between gender and generational influences: the preferences of parents advertising their daughters on the blind date market show a greater discrepancy in attribute preferences to the online daters than parents advertising their sons.
      PubDate: 2022-01-15
      DOI: 10.1186/s40711-021-00159-6
  • Rethinking the defining contextualization of in-work poverty: the
           challenge of individualism and globalization

    • Abstract: Abstract Growing empirical evidence reveals the dramatic expansion in the risk of in-work poverty on a global scale over the last half-century. The current article reviews research on in-work poverty, illustrates how in-work poverty developed from a regional phenomenon into a global issue, and considers recent studies that have reexamined the concept of “in-work poverty” from the original “male family head” to further call on respecting the individual perspective and gender dimension. On the one hand, few studies have provided evidence on the gendered trends in in-work poverty; women’s situation in in-work poverty has not been particularly researched, and the gender dimension is often invisible. On the other hand, the existing literature does not consider this poverty issue much in developing countries, even though this does not mean that in-work poverty in developed countries is only a “side effect.” Hence, an international comparative setting with the gender dimension is needed, and more research is required to explore this construct within the context of the developing world.
      PubDate: 2022-01-04
      DOI: 10.1186/s40711-021-00160-z
  • A study of the labor process from a technology transformation perspective:
           the case of internet virtual teams

    • Abstract: Abstract This article presents an empirical study of the labor process of internet virtual teams. It argues that organizations with a “horizontally virtual and vertically real” structure face a dilemma in the virtual team labor process. While a culture of engineers, which embodies equality, liberty, and cooperation, is the cultural basis of the virtual team, management is bureaucratic, emphasizing individual interests and hierarchical features. The coexistence of the two leads to cooperation and division of labor in virtual teams. Essentially, this is a compromising institutional arrangement adopted by corporations to triangulate technology culture and managerial control to obtain surplus value. Based on the preceding discussion, this paper ends by proposing a new theoretical framework for studying the labor process under the technological conditions of the internet.
      PubDate: 2021-12-01
      DOI: 10.1186/s40711-021-00158-7
  • The self-centered philanthropist: family involvement and corporate social
           responsibility in private enterprises

    • Abstract: Abstract Although corporate social responsibility (CSR) has attracted increasing attention in recent years, systematic studies on the CSR of Chinese enterprises are absent from academic publications. This study examines the effects of family involvement in the CSR of private enterprises. Using private enterprise data in China, the article reveals that, on the one hand, family involvement will improve CSR investment toward community stakeholders; on the other hand, family involvement has a negative effect on the CSR of contractual stakeholders. With the influence of “chaxu geju,” the author argues that Chinese families tend to shift between different logics of behavior when faced with people with whom they have different types of relationships and incorporate this behavioral mode into company practices when they engage themselves in management and business affairs.
      PubDate: 2021-11-24
      DOI: 10.1186/s40711-021-00157-8
  • “Self as enterprise”: overmarketization and the
           self-management of R&D engineers

    • Abstract: Abstract This article analyzes the self-enterprising mechanism of research & development (R&D) engineers based on a case study of labor control in a high-tech company. The concept of “self as enterprise” refers to the form of labor control by allowing workers to self-manage according to the market principle. It is neither a form of normative control built upon accepting and internalizing market-oriented values nor responsible autonomy aiming to enhance workers' organizational commitment. R&D engineers' reproduction of current living standards depends heavily on performance-based salaries, which forces them to pragmatically comply with market rules. When both the reproduction of labor and the labor market have been overmarketized, R&D engineers are at high risk of downgrading their living standards and facing double job insecurity. Therefore, they must manage their work and life in an enterprising way to maximize labor value and prevent it from being devalued.
      PubDate: 2021-11-15
      DOI: 10.1186/s40711-021-00156-9
  • Attention to social stratification in the public discourse: An empirical
           study based on big data of books (1949–2008)

    • Abstract: Abstract Using the Chinese corpus of Google Books Ngram in line with other macro-level socioeconomic data, this paper examines and analyzes the trend of change in public discourse about social structure in China from 1949 to 2008, as well as the mechanism that influences this trend. We find that since the reform and opening-up, the official discourse on “class,” as constructed by the official ideology, has gradually declined, while the importance of a “stratum” discourse oriented toward the mass population has increased. Using principal component analysis, we generate an index for public attention on social strata and run it through a Granger causality test along with time-series data such as macro-level economic and political indicators. The results show that since the reform and opening-up, public attention to stratum has been influenced by the general trend of the economy, income disparity, and level of political participation. Income disparity influences public attention on stratum-related topics more than macro-level economic indicators do. Official intervention on public opinions does not affect public attention on the stratum, but the former is affected by the latter.
      PubDate: 2021-11-06
      DOI: 10.1186/s40711-021-00155-w
  • Technology upgrading and labor degrading' A sociological study of
           three robotized factories

    • Abstract: Abstract In recent years, the technology-driven industrial upgrading in China has resulted in human labor being replaced with robots. This article explores the impact of "intelligent manufacturing" on workers from the following two perspectives: labor relations and the labor process. The authors argue that workers on the shopfloor are experiencing some forms of labor degradation due to robotization, i.e., more flexible labor relations, deskilling, and strengthened technical control. Such a corporation-led and machine-centered industrial upgrading is driven by state policy, capital, and the labor market.
      PubDate: 2021-09-16
      DOI: 10.1186/s40711-021-00154-x
  • Cadre parents and their entrepreneur children' The dual-track
           intergenerational reproduction of elites in China: 1978–2010

    • Abstract: Abstract This article documents and conceptualizes a mode of reproduction of elites in a society in transition from state domination to market orientation. By focusing on China’ marketization, we explore how parents’ advantageous backgrounds have influenced the chance of their children’s attainment of certain elite positions (administrative, technocratic, or market) and whether these patterns have varied across three periods (1978–1992, 1993–2002, and 2003–2010). Using data obtained from the 2011 China Social Survey, we find that although parents’ advantageous status has a persistent effect on children’s status attainment, the reproduction of the state elite and market elite still follows two separate tracks: the children of cadres do not show significant advantage in the process of becoming entrepreneurs and managerial elites, and the children of entrepreneurial and managerial elites are less likely to join cadres. We also find that the effects of the reproduction model are still enhanced and shaped by state power in different periods. These findings demonstrate the important interplay between family background and contextual inequality and give a deeper understanding of the different trajectories of elites in contemporary China.
      PubDate: 2021-09-15
      DOI: 10.1186/s40711-021-00151-0
  • Childhood health and social class reproduction in China

    • Abstract: Abstract In previous studies on social stratification and mobility in China, education is considered as the core mediatory factor in social reproduction and mobility. This paper, however, investigates how childhood health affects social stratification. Using data from Urbanization and Labor Migrant National Survey (2012), this study examines the effects of nutrition, hygiene, and health before age 14 on adult socioeconomic status attainment, including education,  the international socioeconomic indexes of first job and current job, and family income per head. The structural equation model  results show that the nutrition intake (whether one experienced starvation and the frequency of fish and meat intake) and hygiene (indicated by the source of drinking water and the toilet type) have significant effect on adult socioeconomic status attainment. However, the effects change at different life course stages. Moreover, childhood health (indicated by adult height) has significant impact on adult socioeconomic status attainment, but no significant impact on the international socioeconomic indexes of first job and current job. We conclude that investment in childhood health is an important mechanism affecting social class reproduction and mobility. Therefore, health intervention for children from poor and disadvantaged families are necessary. It will benefit children’s education and encourage upward mobility.
      PubDate: 2021-09-13
      DOI: 10.1186/s40711-021-00153-y
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