© 2017

Guanxi, Social Capital and School Choice in China

The Rise of Ritual Capital

  • Explores the phenomenon of guanxi in relation to school choice in China

  • Develops a new concept of 'ritual capital' as vital to the practice of guanxi

  • Draws on in-depth ethnographic research in Chinese schools


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Ji Ruan
    Pages 1-9
  3. Ji Ruan
    Pages 37-73
  4. Ji Ruan
    Pages 75-92
  5. Ji Ruan
    Pages 93-119
  6. Ji Ruan
    Pages 121-134
  7. Ji Ruan
    Pages 153-165
  8. Ji Ruan
    Pages 167-182
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 183-194

About this book


This book focuses on the use of guanxi (Chinese personal connections) in everyday urban life: in particular, how and why people develop different types of social capital in their guanxi networks and the role of guanxi in school choice. Guanxi takes on a special significance in Chinese societies, and is widely-discussed and intensely-studied phenomenon today. In recent years in China, the phenomenon of parents using guanxi to acquire school places for their children has been frequently reported by the media, against the background of the Chinese Communist Party’s crackdown on corruption. From a sociological perspective, this book reveals how and why parents manage to do so. Ritual capital refers to an individual's ability to use ritual to benefit and gain resources from guanxi.


China Confucianism ritual Chinese personal connections school selection Parents Corruption Trust Renqing

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Hanshan Normal UniversityChaozhouChina

About the authors

Ji Ruan is Lecturer at Hanshan Normal University, China. His research interests include Educational Sociology and Elderly Studies. 

Bibliographic information