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The Power of TiananmenState-Society Relations and the 1989 Beijing Student Movement$
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Dingxin Zhao

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780226982601

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226982625.001.0001

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The Decline of the System for Controlling Students in Universities

The Decline of the System for Controlling Students in Universities

(p.101) Four The Decline of the System for Controlling Students in Universities
The Power of Tiananmen

Dingxin Zhao

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the student control system in Chinese universities during the 1980s, showing how it was greatly weakened by changes in social structure brought about by the reform. This weakening facilitated the spread of non-conformist ideas from intellectual elites to the aggrieved students, thus contributing to the actual rise of the 1989 Beijing Student movement. The chapter first discusses the foundations and problems of the political control system in China. It then examines how a campus environment which had once facilitated control over students became conducive to student mobilization, and how political control institutions in Beijing universities were captured for mobilizational purposes after the decline of political control. Finally, it presents some quantitative evidence that directly links the effectiveness of political control to the level of student activism and that shows which facets of weakening control coincided with the spatial patterning of student activism.

Keywords:   China, universities, student control system, political control system, intellectual elites, students, student activism, 1989 Beijing Student movement, student mobilization

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