The Analysis of Chinese Rural Society: Fei Xiaotong Revisited


*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


China’s best-known sociologist, Fei Xiaotong, is widely credited with providing a general statement of guanxi relations underlying Chinese society. Examination of Fei’s celebrated From the Soil and associated publications, as well as the work of contemporary researchers, reveals Fei’s neglected Confucianism and the derivative nature of his conceptualization of “the differential mode of association.” Additionally, limitations of village-centric perspectives and the importance of nonkin relations in rural society are identified and erstwhile neglected aspects of guanxi highlighted. The article contributes to the study of guanxi and Chinese society in general by developing a sociological account of the variety and nature of social connections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-382
Number of pages28
JournalModern China
Issue number4
Early online date16 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Fei Xiaotong
  • guanxi
  • lineage
  • nonkin relations
  • rural society


Dive into the research topics of 'The Analysis of Chinese Rural Society: Fei Xiaotong Revisited'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this