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;u1 tel] nu·: huw ar-.· ....,,. to u~.i· tlu· I"' aritit•s ' 1 tr.1dJtJuu1d" nniJ ''modt·rn" wlwn· ' • : 'L' iippear tu have is a pal imps1·st? An~u,; Md)ona) d ~nivtir&ity of Htnn~sota TEl:llNOLOGICAL AND ORGANIZATICtNAt CHANGES IN l'llE BASIS QI PEKING SOCIETY AND !'.Q!J.!!fi IN-TllE 1920°.s_-.- --In the last years of the Ch'ing dynasty and the firsl years of the Republic, modernization be~an to take hold in and around the city of Pekinr, both •• government policy and as a •~cular trend. By-1he early 1?20 1 s, moderniz~tion seemed to have ~alnrd an trrl•&istible momentum. Merchant ~uilds we./e cominR under the discipline of the l't'kin~ Chamber of Cornmc-rce. Craft guilds bPgan toA:lisplay lht> characlt•ristics of unions. And, tn a flurry of a.ssociation-buildtnp,, a host of n of )pt ill JHIW£'T. A titCond calt~oi-y of actors and institutions includt-d chainhers of couunerce, police .u1les, public utilil1e~;, univcrsitieR,· modC>1·n banks, factcirit-s, and newspapers. In terms of powC'r within tht· urhan polity and the region, tl•esc.• institutions uere a step removed [rorn military a1\d, while the cenlral ministries &Lil) had access to revenues, from administrative dccisiJ:>n-making at the center. Thia did not detract from their Importance as the chief supporls for modernization after the death of Yuan Shih-k'~i. The conflict& that took plar-l· within this &t'mi-periphery--capitaltsts vs. workers, ~tudente vs. officials, newspaper editors vs. politicians, and women vs. male privi)Pge~ led in the twenties Lu greater political frredom for wide 1ector1 of the urban populace.: Not onlv did conflict among and within these modern organizations Jead to an expaneiun 1 and 1nlenstficat1on of pol1tt1.:s in i'ekinp,, 1t also led lo a nationalization of politic-F>.: Students, businessmen, und uorkot"rf; hef·,-ime conf'.ciou:; of th£>mst:!lves as interest groups, , cla~scs, and social movements capahlP of op~rating on a natjonal level. But even in J'ekin~. lht' numbt"r of peoph· involved in the first two levels of tht· politil'al sy:;;tem c:onhtituled only a small proportion of the population. The vast rnajo~ity of the city's laboring poor, shopkt.~epers, craftsmen. and (ln the suburbs and outlying areas) peasant6 wer~ excluded fr6m the urban poJttical arena in the early 1920's. To the extent th(>y were oq~anlz.t~d politically, they acted in the context of communal groups and pcr!ional networks. TransactionF; that determint>d the diAtrihution of economic advantag~ and political privile~~. not ~nverned by custom. uere improvised through the m~diation o( w~althier merchants and local ~entry. Many non-~overnmenta1 or quasi-~overnmental functions in the city like Yelf are, preservation of order, the l management of [estjvals and firefi~hting were pPrf orrn~d by guilds and neighborhood benevoJent associations (shut hui). Aside from personal ties with officjals and regional and national eli~ local elites and the lower.clas~es relied on guilds and j other organizations that were defense and self-re~ulating in n.atur'e. They were designei to minimize and defle~t official intervention. I In the 1920's the middle tier in the organi~ational structure of Peking began to_ assert itself forcefully a~ a new. dynamic political arena. A major force in this devt>lopmcnc was mass nalloll.1lism lhat, in the course of political strugF,le, redefined th~ urban polity to includ~ rncJTe a11d more peripheral groups. Structural constraints, however, limited lhe abi 1 iL '·' of the ne\J arena to displace the power of regional militarists or to transfofU1 the periphery of Peking society. Group Formation and the Ritual of Mass Protest Ralf Dahrendorf. in di.:,cussing the empirical prerequisites of interest-group formation, argues that certJin technical, political. and social conditions must be present before what he terms a 0 quasi-group" of people with a common interest will formally associate. 2 Socially. there needs to be a high level of communication among members of the group in question. Technical conditions include a "charter, norms, personnel and certain material requisites" plus...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1940-5065
Print ISSN
1521-5385
Pages
pp. 5-15
Launched on MUSE
2021-05-25
Open Access
No
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