The danwei, or work unit, occupies a central place in Chinese society; at one time it was so entrenched in people's daily life that while one could be without a job, one could not be without a danwei. With outstanding contributors from various disciplines, this volume, a systematic study of the danwei system, addresses three sets of questions from historical and comparative perspectives:
-- What are the origins of the danwei and how did the danwei system become institutionalized?
-- Is it unique to China?
-- What role does the danwei play and has it changed since the launching of the post-Mao reforms?
In addressing these questions. the contributors make a contribution to both Chinese studies and comparative studies of industrial organization and the transition from state socialism.