Stratification, social action and morphogenesis: Structures and agents in contemporary China's social transformation

Yeoh, Emile Kok Kheng (2011) Stratification, social action and morphogenesis: Structures and agents in contemporary China's social transformation. International Journal of China Studies, 2 (2). pp. 407-504. ISSN 2180-3250

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Abstract

The process of social change typically involves a combination of four different components: context, institutions, agents and events. Upon the praxis between operating structures and purposely acting human agents, agency is constantly shaped by structure which in turn is being reshaped in the process. Amidst the dynamic interplay of such an array of critical socioeconomic factors that underlie the surging currents of social change, the role of the individual as a catalyst for change cannot be underestimated, even if the long-term impact of the individual's action is not immediately explicit and the lone crusade involved does not receive adequate sympathy of the wider public. Such is the tragedy of the commons. Beginning with the problem of increasing inequality and ethnoregional dimension of poverty which together constitute the epitome as well as the root of China's social ills resulted from her recent decades of continuous, astounding economic tour de force, this paper examines contemporary China's social transformation as a phenomenon that is neither simple nor unidimensional, wherein social and in particular sociopolitical change could be said not to be a multiattribute concept, but a multiconcept construct. Due attention is paid to various different dimensions of such changes, both positive and negative, including socioeconomic inequalities, socioracial stratification, ethnoregional disparities and State-civil society relations, in particular the structure-agency interface in the challenge of ACES (active citizenship and effective State) evolvement. At any one time, certain dimensions may increase in severity, while others remain constant or decline. Certain dimensions or variables are considerably more difficult to measure than others but their inclusion is essential to provide a comprehensive view of the challenges of China's social transformation in her contemporary reform era.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Activism; Agency; Civil rights; Dissent; √Člite; Inequality; Morphogenesis; Morphostasis; State; Structure
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Divisions: Faculty of Economics & Administration
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2019 03:51
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2019 03:51
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/23044

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