Who Left the Backdoor Open? Guanxi in Maoist China 1949 - 1965
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This paper attempts to establish that contrary to popular scholarly belief, the art of guanxixue, the art of social relations, existed throughout the Mao era in China. Interpreting both primary and secondary sources through a new lens shows that while there was a period immediately after the Chinese Communist Revolution when the use of guanxi diminished, a number of factors contributed to its quick recovery. This recovery occurred long before the Cultural Revolution, the previously cited interval for its reemergence. With the aim of proving this claim, the realms of economics, politics, and family are explored, and through the study of these aspects of Chinese society, prove the existence of guanxi for the time period between 1949 and 1965. Confucius's definition of social relations and the hierarchical nature of the social bonds that he describes also prove critical to understand the continued existence of guanxi.