Becoming Citizens in China

State and Individual in Inner City Renewal and Urban Social Movement


In Becoming Citizens in China, Shi Yunqing describes the two interlinked histories that have made China’s urban and economic miracle: the unfolding process of inner city renewal and the production of citizens shaped by the collective rights defence actions in response to demolition and resettlement projects. Shi reveals a complex problematic tension between the state and the individual during China's social transition. This book is rigorously researched and draws on a rich body of materials. In this approach to State-Individual relationship, Shi Yunqing convincingly shows how citizens are produced in urban social movements against the backdrop of differences between Chinese and Western development histories. The production of citizens in “Chinese-style” produces insightful “local knowledge” and contributes to a new global sociology in general and the Post-Western sociology in particular.


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Shi Yunqing, Ph.D. (2012, Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS)), M.A. (2007, Tsinghua University), is an associate professor of sociology at CASS. Her research focuses on urban studies. She has published research articles in the Journal of Chinese Sociology (JCS) and the Chinese Journal of Sociology (CJS).
Foreword by Shen Yuan
Foreword by Yang Yiyin
List of Figures and Tables

Introduction: The Urban Social Movements and Social Transition in China
 1 Why to Study Urban Social Movements: A Dynamic Perspective and Distinct Process of Social Transition
 2 How to Study Urban Social Movements: the “Chinese-style” Production of Citizens
 3 Case and Methodology
 4 Overview of Chapters

1 Resistance for Rights
 1 The Story of a Private Courtyard
 2 From Individual Rights Defense Actions to In-district Mobilization
 3 From In-district Mobilization to Inter-district Unification

2 Politics of the City
 1 Public-owned Housing System: Individual Getting Absorbed by the State
 2 Operating Cities: Real Estate Market Freed Up by the State
 3 Urban Miracle and Paradox of Demolition: Poles Apart

3 Secret of Land
 1 Chinese-style “City Creation”: Commercialization of Land Generated from Public Ownership
 2 “Real Estate Development-driven Reconstruction of Dilapidated Houses”: the Local Government-led Land Management
 3 Reconstruction Developers: Dual-logic Actor

4 Differentiation of the State
 1 Another Possibility of the State-Individual Relationship
 2 Portrayal of the Two Sets of State-individual Relationship: Two Definitions of Demolition/Relocation
 3 Differentiation of the State: Pushing the Local Government Out of the State Framework

5 Forging of Citizenry
 1 Three Levels of “Selective Firming” of Self-boundary
 2 Forging of Citizenry: Self-boundary Firming by the Idea of Rights

6 Production of Society
 1 Dual Dimension of Citizenship: Being Public and Contractual
 2 Production of Society: Cross Bonds and Bottom-Up Echo
 3 Space for Protest: Being Created and Shaped

Conclusion: Becoming Citizens
 1 Transition-oriented “Process”: An Analytical Framework
 2 Promoting Social Transition while Making Adaptations: A “Nested” Structure
 3 A Bottom-Up Social Transition: Full Application of Law
 4 Limitations and Future Research
All interested in the history of urban renewal and real estate development, urban social movement, the urban land politics and anyone concerned with the mechanism of social transition in China.

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