- Code ASIA6099
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Culture History and Language
- ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
- Course subject Asian Studies
- Areas of interest Anthropology, Non Language Asian Studies, Gender Studies, Sociology, Political Economy
Social Power in China shows how the family is the basic structure of power, authority, and survival through history and in modern Chinese society.
The family proper is an institution within which people can shelter from state intrusion, but also through which people are mobilised to state ends. So convincing is the moral authority of the family that this power structure resonates at all levels of the polity, from biological blood-relatedness to the ideological common blood of the nation-state. The family and its hierarchies, ideals, and propositions can be seen in laws, social norms, and cultural practices. Networks of kin and kin-like relatedness form the very foundation of Chinese society.
Through an in-depth exploration of the Chinese family and the transdisciplinary application of social theory and critical thinking, students will recognise that these characteristics are not limited to the Chinese world. The family, indeed, is an essential power structure across the globe, in every cultural and national context.
Postgraduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Analyze the logic and comprehend the spatial and temporal variability of kinship practices in Chinese societies, with reference to kinship practices globally.
- Identify and critique social actors’ attempts to affirm, appropriate, avoid, or redefine the rules, resources, and power relations of both kin and non-kin social connections in Chinese societies.
- Understand and apply important concepts in social and political theory—including power, ritual, institutions (rules, both formal and informal and norms), and capital (social, economic, symbolic, and cultural).
- Evaluate academic texts for form, content, method, and inspiration, and integrate appropriate practices into their own work.
- Structure written work for explication and argument.
- Argue a position clearly and concisely with reference to evidence, speaking in an individual or group context.
This is a co-taught course. Any cap on enrolments in one course applies to both courses combined.
- Class Participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,6]
- Tutorial Leadership (5) [LO 1,2,3,4,6]
- Polemical Paper 1 (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
- Annotated Bibliography (15) [LO 4,5]
- Polemical Paper 2 (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
- Final Essay (PG 3500 Words) (50) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.
The course will be structured around 30-36 hours of contact time (the equivalent of three hours a week for 12 weeks). Reading loads will average roughly 50-70 pages per three hours of contact time.
All texts for this course are available on the course page or in the library.
Ang, Yuen Yuen 2020. China's Gilded Age
Bell, Catherine 2009. Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice.
Boretz, Avron 2011. Gods, Ghosts and Gangsters.
Bourdieu, Pierre 1986 “The Forms of Capital.”
Brandtstädter, Susanne, and G. Santos. 2009. “Chinese Kinship Metamorphoses,” in Chinese Kinship: Contemporary Anthropological Perspectives.
Deng, Yanhua, and K. O'Brien. 2013. "Relational Repression in China: Using Social Ties to Demobilize Protesters." China Quarterly
Faure, David 2007. Emperor and Ancestor: State and Lineage in South China
Fei, Xiaotong 1992. From the Soil: The Foundations of Chinese Society
Fong, Vanessa L. 2002. China's One-Child Policy and the Empowerment of Urban Daughters. American Anthropologist
Gold, Thomas, et al (eds). 2002. Social Connections in China: Institutions, Culture and the Changing Nature of Guanxi.
Goodman, Bryna. 1995. Native Place, City, and Nation: Regional Networks and Identities in Shanghai, 1853-1937.
Granovetter, Mark 2005 "The Impact of Social Structure on Economic Outcomes."
Hershatter, Gail 2011 The Gender of Memory: Rural Women and China’s Collective Past.
Hillman, Ben. 2010. "Factions and Spoils"The China Journal
Kipnis, Andrew B. 1996. "Managing Guanxi in a North China Village." Modern China
Kuhn, Philip A. 1975. 'Local Self-Government under the Republic: Problems of Control, Autonomy, and Mobilization.' inConflict and Control in Late Imperial China. California.
Mann, Michael. 1986. The Sources of Social Power
North, Douglass 1990. Institutions, Institutional Change, and Economic Performance
Osburg, John 2013. Anxious Wealth
Sangren, P. Steven 2017 Filial Obsessions: Chinese Patriliny and Its Discontents
Szonyi, Michael 2017 The Art of Being Governed
Tsai, Kellee S. 2000. "Banquet Banking: Gender and Rotating Savings and Credit Associations in South China.” The China Quarterly
Wolf, Margery 1968 The House of Lim: A Study of a Chinese Farm Family.
Zito, Angela 1987 "City Gods, Filiality, and Hegemony in Late Imperial China"
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