China and Inner Asia

Organized Panel Session

(34) Political Socialization of Elite Chinese Students: A Trans-Disciplinary Approach

3/22/2018
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: Roosevelt Room 1, Exhibit Level

How do the party and state institutions in the surviving communist systems manage to attract young and educated recruits and guarantee their lifelong commitment to a political career? This question is particularly relevant in investigating evolving communist systems, such as post-Mao China, where revolutionary ideology no longer functions as a key structuring element and where a liberalized employment market provides ambitious young individuals with many attractive career options beyond the party-state bureaucracy. This panel tackles this question by looking at various forms of political socialization for Chinese students. From the high school to the end of graduate studies, we unveil various mechanisms which transform students’ perceptions of their professional paths, influence their trajectories, and eventually cultivate their commitment to a career in the party-state. Each of the four papers investigates various mechanisms and hierarchies within school systems in which students are incorporated, including the Party organizations in high schools and universities, as well as its youth organizations, which maintain a management monopoly over students’ extracurricular activities in schools. Because our central interest is in elite renewal, the papers focus mainly on the country’s best high schools and universities, which provide the most cadres to the Party-State. The papers’ methods vary from experimental research to ethnographic observation, and their analytical approaches range from the sociology of education to the study of informal political ties. Thus, while they all treat the issue of political socialization, they offer a diversity of perspectives.

Presentations:

Jerome Doyon

SOAS University of London, Ile-de-France, France

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Joel Andreas

Johns Hopkins University, Maryland

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Jerome Doyon

SOAS University of London, Ile-de-France, France

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Hanzhang Liu

Columbia University, New York

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Siyu Li

École Normale Supérieure, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France

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Fengming Lu

Duke University, North Carolina

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Joel Andreas

Johns Hopkins University, Maryland

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