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Title: Fei Xiaotong's Theory of Rural Development and Its Application: A Critical Appraisal
Authors: Fong, Shiaw-Chian
Keywords: functions;patterns;systems;rural enterprises;small market towns
Date: 1997-10
Issue Date: 2016-09-22 16:19:00 (UTC+8)
Abstract: Following a systematic reading of Chinese sociologist Fei Xiaotong’s works published in the 1940s and 1980s, the author puts forth the following theses. First, it will be demonstrated that Fei’s “theoretical thread” of his long career remains that of functionalism, a conceptual orientation which views every social institution as connected to other institutions, and together meeting critical needs of the encompassing social structure. Second, it will be shown that, given his functional orientation, he was unable to spell out the full theoretical relationships between Chinese rural enterprises and their host small market towns that occupied most of his attention in the 1980s. Indeed, this flaw has invited scholars to attempt to compensate in two ways: one is parallel to the theory of anthropologist G. William Skinner’s marketing hierarchy; the other involves another key facto, the administrative hierarchy, and reconsiders the possibility of a built-in conflict between administrative logic and economic development. Third, a critical assessment will be made of the extent to which his disciples’ empirical research matches the subtleties of his stimulating, albeit underdeveloped, theory of China’s rural development.
Relation: Issues & Studies,33(10),20-43
Data Type: article
Appears in Collections:[Issues & Studies] 期刊論文

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