Networks ranging from village level to transnational level have always played a crucial role in Chinese society. The contributors to this volume aim to trace the interaction between various networks which have existed from the 19th century to the present day. The articles deal with theoretical concepts, historical examples, such as non-state responses to the North China Famine (1876 - 1879), the role of missionaries in the modernization of China and disaster management, including recent inter-ethnic business competition in Hong Kong, Han settlers in Xinjiang, temple festivals in Macau and urban migrants' social networks in today's China. By drawing on new material and theoretical frameworks, these studies shed fresh light on the ways in which various forms of networks have shaped Chinese society, while at the same time questioning traditional and rigid perspectives of Chinese society based solely on networks and guanxi.
Frau Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Mechthild Leutner ist Professorin für Sinologie an der Freien Universität Berlin.