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At the Crossroads of EmpiresMiddlemen, Social Networks, and State-Building in Republican Shanghai$
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Nara Dillon and Jean C. Oi

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780804756198

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804756198.001.0001

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Popular Protest in Shanghai, 1919–1927:

Popular Protest in Shanghai, 1919–1927:

Social Networks, Collective Identities, and Political Parties

(p.87) Chapter 5 Popular Protest in Shanghai, 1919–1927:
At the Crossroads of Empires

Elizabeth J. Perry

Stanford University Press

This chapter argues that social networks were the building blocks of collective action in Shanghai. It investigates the changing role of social networks and collective identities during China's most dynamic period of urban protest (1919–1927) in Shanghai. The Shanghai case shows the salience of networks for mobilization and demobilization. The activity of the May Fourth organization presented a serious challenge to government control. It is seen as the beginning of modern Chinese nationalism. Political parties were the major players in the May Thirtieth Movement but over time the determining effect of particular individuals became increasingly clear. May Thirtieth departed from May Fourth in the prominent involvement of political parties and the more strident calls for fundamental political reform. The political history of 1920s Shanghai is largely the story of how the two major parties attempted to transcend their alien origins by adapting to the realities of Chinese society.

Keywords:   social networks, Shanghai, May Fourth organization, May Thirtieth Movement, political reform, Chinese society, collective identities, urban protest

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