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