Chinese Professionals and the Republican State: The Rise of Professional Associations in Shanghai, 1912-1937

Chinese Professionals and the Republican State: The Rise of Professional Associations in Shanghai, 1912-1937

Chinese Professionals and the Republican State: The Rise of Professional Associations in Shanghai, 1912-1937

Chinese Professionals and the Republican State: The Rise of Professional Associations in Shanghai, 1912-1937

Synopsis

Xiaoqun Xu makes a compelling and original contribution to the study of China's modernization with this study of the rise of professional associations in Republican China, in their birthplace of Shanghai, and of their political and socio-cultural milieus. Xu addresses a central issue in China studies, the relationship between state and society, and proposes an alternative to the Western-derived concept of civil society. This book illuminates the multidimensional complexity of modernization and nationalism in twentieth-century China, and provides a concrete case for comparative studies of professionalization and class formation across cultures.

Excerpt

Before describing the income and living standards of Chinese professionals in Republican Shanghai, this study briefly addresses the question of what currency was involved. The history of Chinese currency is a complicated subject and obviously cannot be fully treated here. As far as prewar Shanghai is concerned, however, the picture was relatively clear. For the most part the silver dollar (yinyuan) and silver tael (yinliang) were the basic currency. Foreigners customarily referred to the silver dollar as the Mexican dollar (Mex), although in reality by the 1920s the Yuan (Shikai) dollar (Yuan datou) increasingly replaced the Mexican dollar in circulation, because of the former's lower silver content. Paper notes issued by banks in lieu of silver dollars and “small money” – dimes . . .

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