Determinants of the Division of Labor in China

  • Michael Xinxiang Mao
Part of the The Springer Series on Demographic Methods and Population Analysis book series (PSDE)


Human ecological theory of the division of labor finds its roots in Emile Durkheim’s ([1893] 1933) work, The Division of Labor in Society. Durkheim proffers division of labor as an inevitable consequence of increased physical and social density in human societies. A revival of interest in human ecology since the early 1950s has amassed a substantial literature of empirical inquiries into the determinants and consequences of the division of labor. Social scientists have conducted most of these studies, however, in the United States. The few studies that have transcended national boundaries (Browning and Gibbs 1971; London 1971; Frisbie and Al-Khalifah 1991) have, like the American investigations, generally supported Durkheim’s theory. Thus, they have helped to defend human ecology against the charge of ethnocentric bias, one of three fundamental criticisms of the ecological approach.


American Sociological Review Human Ecology Physical Density Chinese Province Rural Sociology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Browning, H. L., & Gibbs, J. P. (1971). Intraindustry division of labor: The states of Mexico. Demography, 8, 233–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Clarke, Clifford J. (1987). The Durkheimian relationship between the division of labor and population: Cross-national historical evidence. Sociological Focus, 20, 13–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Clemente, F., & Sturgis, R. (1972). The division of labor in America: An ecological analysis. Social Forces, 51, 176–182.Google Scholar
  4. Durkheim, E. [ 1893 ] (1933). The division of labor in society. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  5. Ervin, D. J. (1987). Interdependence and differentiation as components of the division of labor. Social Science Quarterly, 68, 177–184.Google Scholar
  6. Frisbie, W. P., & Poston, Jr, D. L.. (1975). Components of sustenance organization and nonmetropolitan population change: A human ecological investigation. American Sociological Review, 40, 773–784.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Frisbie, W. R, & Poston, Jr., D. L. (1976). The structure of sustenance organization and population change in nonmetropolitan America. Rural Sociology, 41, 354–370.Google Scholar
  8. Frisbie, W. R, & Poston, Jr., D. L. (1978). Sustenance differentiation and population redistribution. Social Forces, 57, 42–56.Google Scholar
  9. Frisbie, W. P., & Al-Khalifah, Abdullah H. M. (1991). Rural to urban transition and the division of labor: Evidence from Saudi Arabia. Rural Sociology, 56, 646–659.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gibbs, J. P., & Browning, H. L. (1966). The division of labor, technology and the organization of production in twelve countries. American Sociological Review, 31, 81–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gibbs, J. P., & Martin, W. T. (1962). Urbanization, technology and the division of labor: International patterns. American Sociological Review, 27, 667–677.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gibbs, J. P., & Poston, Jr., D. L. (1975). The division of labor: Conceptualization and related measures. Social Forces, 53, 468–476.Google Scholar
  13. Hawley, A. H. (1950). Human ecology. New York: Ronald Press.Google Scholar
  14. Hawley, A. H. (1984). Human ecological and Marxian theories. American Journal of Sociology, 89, 904–917.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Labovitz, S., & Gibbs, J. P. (1964). Urbanization, technology, and the division of labor: Further evidence. Pacific Sociological Review, 7, 3–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lin, N., & Xie, W. (1988). Occupational prestige in urban China. American Journal of Sociology, 93, 793–832.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. London, B. (1987). Ending ecology’s ethnocentrism: Thai replications and extensions of ecological research. Rural Sociology, 52, 483–500.Google Scholar
  18. Martin, W. T., & Poston, Jr, D. L.. (1976). Industrialization and occupational differentiation: An ecological analysis. Pacific Sociological Review, 19, 82–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Poston, D. L. Jr. (1984). Regional ecology: A macroscopic analysis of sustenance organization. In Michael Micklin & Harvey M. Choldin (Eds.), Sociological Human Ecology: Contemporary Issues and Applications (pp. 323–382 ). Boulder, CO: Westview.Google Scholar
  20. Schnore, L. F. (1958). Social morphology and human ecology. American Journal of Sociology, 63, 620–634.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. State Statistical Bureau. (1985). 1982 population census of China (Results of computer tabulation). Beijing: China Statistical Publishing House.Google Scholar
  22. State Statistical Bureau. (1986). China statistical yearbook 1986. Beijing: China Statistical Publishing House.Google Scholar
  23. State Statistical Bureau. (1993). Tabulation on the 1990 population census of the People’s Republic of China. Beijing: China Statistical Publishing House.Google Scholar
  24. Tse Ka-kui. (1978). Challenging the bourgeois division of labor: Perspective on the Chinese experience of industrial transformation since the great leap forward. Social Praxis, 5, 235–274.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Xinxiang Mao
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

Personalised recommendations