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Overseas Chinese Christian Entrepreneurs in Modern China

A Case Study of the Influence of Christian Ethics on Business Life

Joy Kooi-Chin Tong
 

Overseas Chinese Christian Entrepreneurs in Modern China

Examines the influence of Christianity on overseas Chinese entrepreneurs working in modern China.

Imprint: Anthem Press
ISBN 9781783080564
October 2013 | 180 Pages | 229 x 152mm / 9 x 6 | 6+ tables and figures
 
PRICE:  £25.00  /  $40.00  Buy from Amazon.co.uk  Buy from Amazon.com
 
 
9781783080564

About This Book

“The topic explored in this volume is fascinating, particularly in light of China’s rapid transformation from a planned socialist economy into a capitalist system connected to the world. […] ‘Overseas Chinese Christian Entrepreneurs in Modern China’ takes a step towards making sense of how religious values shape business behaviour in reform era China. It is significant in highlighting the religious life of the overseas Chinese and in illuminating the new ties they are forming with a cultural homeland that was, until very recently, inaccessible.” —Sin Wen Lau, “Asian Studies Review”

“Exploring relationships between Christianity and Chinese entrepreneurial endeavors, this meticulously researched study will be an informative, significant and engrossing book for anyone with the slightest interest in religion, economic development and/or contemporary China. I’m sure Weber would have enjoyed it.” —Professor Eileen Barker, London School of Economics

“This well-written and carefully argued book deepens the research on Weber’s Protestant ethic thesis, creatively examining the impacts of religious motivations, ethics and networks on the economic behaviors of Overseas Chinese businesspeople in China, and challenging the presumptuous but unproven claims of Confucian values for the economic miracles in East Asia.” —Professor Fenggang Yang, Purdue University

Inspired by Max Weber’s thesis on the Protestant ethic, ‘Overseas Chinese Christian Entrepreneurs in Modern China’ sets out to understand the role and influence of Christianity on Overseas Chinese businesspeople working in contemporary China. Through its in-depth interviews and participant observations (involving 60 Overseas Chinese entrepreneurs from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Southeast Asia and the United States), the text discusses how Christianity has come to fulfill an increasingly visible and dynamic function in the country, most notably as a new source of business morality.

Recognizing that China’s economic transition toward a market-oriented economy was not initiated by Christians (or indeed any other religious group), this volume demonstrates the importance of exploring the impact of religious ethics on economics at micro and organizational levels, via the subjective understandings of individuals and small businesses. Significant but often neglected facets of Weber’s thesis arise as a result. Of key importance is the issue of gender differences within the Christian ethos – a crucial aspect of the Protestant ethic that has yet to be systematically studied, but which offers great potential to enhance our understanding of Weber’s work. As a result, the text’s novel application of Weberian sociology to the context of contemporary China can be seen to offer a double return, elucidating both the theory and its subject.

Readership: The book is aimed at BA and MA students of Chinese studies, Weber studies, the sociology of religion, and the sociology of business and entrepreneurship.

Author Information

Joy Kooi-Chin Tong is Assistant Professor of Intercultural Studies at Indiana Wesleyan University, and was previously a postdoctoral research associate at the Center on Religion and Chinese Society at Purdue University, USA.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; List of Tables and Figures; Chapter 1 Introduction: Studying Christian Ethics and Business Life in Post-1978 China; Chapter 2 Religion and Economic Life: The Protestant Ethic and Max Weber’s Legacy; Chapter 3 Overseas Chinese Christian Entrepreneurs in Post-1978 China (Shanghai): Business, Faith and Ethics; Chapter 4 Religious Motivation and Entrepreneurial Spirit; Chapter 5 Business–Faith Integration: Three Types; Chapter 6 Communities of Faith: Fellowships for Overseas Chinese Christian Businesspeople in Shanghai; Chapter 7 Female Entrepreneurs: Four Stories; Chapter 8 Conclusion and Research Implications; Bibliography; Index