Social Transformation in Modern China: The State and Local Elites in Henan, 1900-1937

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The sources and nature of China's transformation from a traditional to modern society - accelerated in the early twentieth century by the downfall of the Qing dynasty, the advent of foreign technology and increasing commercialization - are critical issues for the study of modern China. In this book, Xin Zhang uses the case of local elites and the power structure of Henan province in north-central China to demonstrate how local politics first transformed local society, challenged the state and eventually influenced change across China. Rather than focusing separately on elite mobility, social mobilization or state-making, Zhang observes changes in all three categories as interrelated aspects of a single, self-generating phenomenon of social change. Zhang's application of social science theory and rich, original, empirical data, sheds light on the sources of China's modernization, political and social identity, and the shifting relationship between the state and local elites.