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Reviews 245 on Deng. However, the vexing nature of contemporary Chinese "pragmatism" may need further comprehensive explanation. The reader does not really get an answer to the question ofwhether Deng was indeed a "statesman." Perhaps the answer would have been clearer had it not been for Tiananmen Square; nevertheless , this volume will certainly become recommended reading for those interested in exploring the many contradictions ofmodern China through the life and times ofDeng Xiaoping. Ronald C. Keith University ofCalgary Ronald C. Keith is a professor ofpolitical science and Head ofthe Political Science Department. He specializes in Chinesepolitics, foreign policy, and legal reform and jurisprudence. Victor N. Shaw. Social Control in China: A Study ofChinese Work Units. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 1996. xiv, 288 pp. Hardcover $59.95, isbn 0-275-95599-0· This book is about social control in the work unit, or danwei, in China. Social control is defined as "any mechanism or practice for securing individual compliance , maintaining collective order and normative consistency, or dealing with problematic or deviant situations" (p. 26). The danwei is thus more than a mere workplace or business, "primarily a local (Chinese Communist) party branch that recruits, disciplines, and manages party members and implements party policies. It is also a basic governmental agency that ensures that a group ofsocial members are properly fed, employed, managed, and that local order is maintained within the enclave of the unit" (p. 158). So defined, the estimated thirteen million work units ranging from shops to factories to universities would have been unremarkable and easily dismissed as an extension ofa totalitarian state seeking to control the thought, social life, dossiers, rewards, discipline, mobility, and social security of some 180 million Chinese. Examining in detail the procedures and operations ofeach ofthese critical areas of© 1998 by University ^ shaw ^g1165 mat such manipulation is less than perfect. From his own work experience, interviews, and anecdotal evidence, he advances a nuanced theory of social control by emphasizing not so much the coercive aspects ofthe work unit but rather its affective and integrative effects. To be sure, there are resistance ef- 246 China Review International: Vol. 5, No. 1, Spring 1998 forts, from silence to confrontation to emigration, but the generally positive response from his one hundred respondents, who were sojourning in the United States, toward their work units suggests that the many "carrots" of the system— material incentives such as cheap housing, services, and job security, as well as a supportive network of colleagues and neighbors—"enfeebles the coercive connotation of control and facilitates its acceptance" (p. 234). Indeed, with a culture embedded in nonconfrontation and infused with an "East Asian mode ofhuman relations," social control in Chinese work organizations might be "internalized" and accepted by its controllees. If this finding represents an extension of social-control theory beyond crime fighting and deviant behavior, Shaw reinforces his argument by comparing U.S. and Chinese social control at the workplace, with a sample pool of fifty-seven Chinese respondents with work experience in both. Similarities between the two include the importance given to human relations and accessibility to superiors. However, differences also abound, most prominent ofwhich is the impersonal, non-caring, mechanical, and result-oriented pressure felt by his respondents in the United States. Control is therefore felt more at the workplace than in the society at large, leading Shaw to speculate that the Chinese might enjoy more "organizational democracy" and less "constitutional democracy" at the workplace than their American counterparts (p. 232). While this observation might be less than revealing for workers laid off as the result ofcorporate downsizing, or minorities facing the glass ceiling, or disillusioned dreamers of the American dream, Shaw also argues that the Communist state is in retreat under the economic reforms of Deng Xiaoping (p. 191). The ration system for daily necessities, for instance, has been terminated, and a responsibility system (essentially a revenue-farming arrangement) has been instituted for both farmers and factories. Party branches have been absorbed by the management , or absent altogether in some foreign-owned enterprises, and dreaded courses on politics are no longer required for graduation. Workers are being laid off, and danwei declared bankrupt and assets auctioned off. It is reassuring that...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 245-247
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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