How do social relations, or <i>guanxi</i>, matter in China today and how can this distinctive form of personal connection be better understood? In <i>Guanxi: How China Works</i>, Yanjie Bian analyzes the forms, dynamics, and impacts of <i>guanxi</i> relations in reform-era China, and shows them to be a crucial part of the puzzle of how Chinese society operates.
Rich in original studies and insightful analyses, this concise book offers a critical synthesis of <i>guanxi</i> research, including its empirical controversies and theoretical debates. Bian skillfully illustrates the growing importance of <i>guanxi</i> in diverse areas such as personal network building, employment and labor markets, informal business relationships, and the broader political sphere, highlighting <i>guanxi</i>’s central value in China's contemporary social structure.
A definitive statement on the topic from a top authority on the sociology of <i>guanxi</i>, this book is an excellent classroom introduction for courses on China, a useful reference for <i>guanxi</i> researchers, and ideal reading for anyone interested in Chinese culture and society.