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Associations and Federations

(4,259 words)

Author(s): Heberer, Thomas
Social organizations are affiliations of persons for a certain purpose or for the pursuit of mutual interests. In the PRC, four groups of social organizations can be distinguished: state-run (such as the mass organizations), state-controlled (such as professional or entrepreneurial associations, social and hobby organizations), informal (such as territorial associations and clans), and illegal organizations (such as secret societies, as well as underground, oppositional, or criminal associations…


(1,521 words)

Author(s): Heberer, Thomas
The Chinese term for corruption, fubai, primarily refers to the negative aspects of a system, organization, structure, or policy. When used with respect to a person or government, fubai signifies (moral) decay. The term is therefore essentially a moral one and refers to anything that is not congruent with the dominant moral conceptions. This can include criminal delinquencies of party and state functionaries, but also political and ideological errors, and transgressions against party norms or the currently dominant party l…


(1,681 words)

Author(s): Heberer, Thomas
1. Guanxi as a Social Concept Guanxi, or "social relations", are an important concept in the everyday life of the Chinese. Such relations help (and have helped in the past) to assert both individual and group interests. This concept is based on a specific view of society. According to the interpretation of many Chinese, society is primarily a hierarchical order that consists of a network of relations. Whereas many Europeans consider the appearance and behavior of others to be important, many Chinese g…


(1,402 words)

Author(s): Heberer, Thomas
Yu Zhengzhou 159 counties, 38 cities 93.92 million inhabitants 167,000 km2 562 inhabitants/km2 The central Chinese province of Henan is the most populous province of China, with a population of about 94 million people. In 1954, its capital was moved from the traditional cultural center of Kaifeng to the industrial city of Zhengzhou. The largest part of the province lies south of the Yellow River , hence the name "Henan" (south of the river). Two-thousand years ago, it was called Zhongzhou, i.e. the prefectu…

National Minorities

(3,167 words)

Author(s): Heberer, Thomas
1. Population, Settlement Areas, Languages According to the 2000 census there are 55 officially recognized "national minorities" ( shaoshu minzu) in China, in addition to more than one billion Han Chinese. The 2000 census showed that with a population of 91.2 million (108.5 million according to the micro-census of 1995, 106.4 million according to the census of 2000) they represent around 8-9% of the overall population. According to official statistics, the autonomous regions and other autonomous regional administr…


(2,718 words)

Author(s): Heberer, Thomas
1. Political Culture and Participation People possess interests that they wish to articulate and realize. For this reason, they contribute to activities that are relevant to a social group. This participation can occur in the family, at the work place, in associations, in the economy, or in politics and concerns both men and women. Activities of individuals or groups of individuals that aim at enforcing or influencing certain goals in public life can be referred to as political participation. Differe…

Private Economy

(1,410 words)

Author(s): Heberer, Thomas
The term private economy, in contrast to public (state or collective) economy, refers to the sector that is based on the private property of one or more individuals. In contemporary China, this sector includes the registered private small, medium, and large companies, enterprises run with foreign capital, as well as private traders and craftsmen, but also enterprises which have, for various reasons, been registered under false ownership forms (collective and state firms that are de facto privately run), as well as non-registered private companies (shadow economy). 1. Private Econ…


(2,801 words)

Author(s): Heberer, Thomas
A major part of China's population still lives in villages, which number more than one million. Owing to the size of the country and its geographical diversity, villages may greatly differ from each other, for example with regard to construction types. In the north, houses are built from mud or wood, whereas red clay bricks or bamboo are commonly found in the south (housing). Caves in loess soil serve as dwellings in villages in the northwest, and pile-dwellings are found in the south. Modern bu…