Social Capital in Urban China: Attitudinal and Behavioral Effects on Grassroots Self-Government

Social Science Quarterly, Volume 88, Number 2, June 2007

21 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2013

See all articles by Jie Chen

Jie Chen

University of Idaho

Chunlong Lu

Old Dominion University

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

Studies of Western settings, in general, argue that social capital, defined as a set of civic norms and social networks among ordinary citizens, nurtures democratic governance at various levels. Does such a social capital exist in a transitional society such as China? If so, what kind of role does social capital play in affecting individuals’ attitudinal and behavioral orientations toward fledgling grassroots self-government in that society? This study is intended to answer these questions, which are crucial for our understanding of China’s sociopolitical development as well as for the application of social capital theories in non-Western societies. Methods. This study is based on the data collected from a representative survey conducted in an urban area in China in 2004. Results. The findings from this study indicate that social capital among urban residents was abundant, and it nurtured the grassroots self-government system through residents’ attitudinal and behavioral orientations toward the system. Conclusions. These findings have strong implications for the future of local democratic governance and applicability of social capital theories in China.

Suggested Citation

Chen, Jie and Lu, Chunlong, Social Capital in Urban China: Attitudinal and Behavioral Effects on Grassroots Self-Government (2007). Social Science Quarterly, Volume 88, Number 2, June 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2230925

Jie Chen (Contact Author)

University of Idaho ( email )

College of Graduate Studies
Morrill Hall 104
Moscow, ID 83844-3017
United States
(208) 885-2167 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uidaho.edu/class/politicalscience/jie-chen

Chunlong Lu

Old Dominion University ( email )

Norfolk, VA 23529-0222
United States

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