S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소) Development and Society Development and Society Vol.32 No.1/2 (2003)
Market Socialism and Ruralist Welfare Reform in Post-Mao China
- Chang, Kyung-Sup
- Issue Date
- Institute for Social Development and Policy Research, Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
- Development and Society, Vol.32 No.2, pp. 147-171
- Market socialism - or “"the socialist market economy”" - in China has practically reinforced the rural-urban divide in social welfare. The danwei welfare system for urban workers has remained robust, albeit currently through different programs for social security, so that Chinese-style socialism still governs the lives of most urban workers. The market-based and/or private arrangements for social insurances and services complement, not replace, the danwei-supported welfare programs. In contrast, the demise of rural collective institutions has caused a desocialization of peasant welfare in most villages across China, as individual families are urged to self-support on the basis of private economic and social resources. Essentially, welfare ruralism exhorts primarily peasants (and peasant migrants) to revitalize their traditional values and functions for familial social support, in lieu of state-sponsored social security programs or social services. What Gordon White dubbed as “"post-communist neo-Confucianism”" regarding the Chinese welfare tradition has been asymmetrically enforced onto rural population due to complicated historical, structural, and political factors. Welfare ruralism is a sort of internal orientalism applied to peasant welfare for which ideological and cultural work, as opposed to institutional and economic work for urban worker welfare, is the main mechanism for reform.
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