The Changing Field of Power in Post-Martial Law Taiwan

Friday, November 8, 2013
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Reuben W. Hills Conference Room
  • Thomas B. Gold


Professor Gold will make a presentation that is part of a larger book project that applies the theory of fields as elaborated by Pierre Bourdieu, Neil Fligstein and Doug McAdam to the remaking of Taiwan since the end of martial law in 1987. He argues that political democratization is only one part of the larger dispersal of all forms of power (what Bourdieu terms “capital”) away from the tight centralized control of the mainlander—dominated KMT to broader segments of Taiwan’s society. This talk will look at this process of the breakdown and reconstruction of the old order of various fields, in particular the political, economic and cultural fields, and the effect of this on the overarching field of power.


Speaker Bio:

Thomas B. Gold is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, and Executive Director of the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies, whose executive office is at Berkeley and teaching program at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He received his B.A. in Chinese Studies from Oberlin College, and M.A. in Regional Studies – East Asia and PhD in Sociology from Harvard University. He taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan. He was in the first group of U.S. government-sponsored students to study in China, spending a year at Shanghai’s Fudan University from 1979-1980. Prof Gold’s research has examined numerous topics on the societies on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. These include: youth; guanxi; urban private entrepreneurs (getihu); non-governmental organizations; popular culture; and social and political change. He is very active in civil society in the United States, currently serving on the boards of several organizations such as the Asia Society of Northern California, International Technological University, Teach for China, and the East Bay College Fund.  His books include State and Society in the Taiwan Miracle, and the co-edited volumes Social Connections in China: Institutions, Culture, and the Changing Nature ofGuanxi, The New Entrepreneurs of Europe and Asia: Patterns of Business Development in Russia, Eastern Europe and China, and Laid-Off Workers in a Workers’ State: Unemployment With Chinese Characteristics.