The Making of a Docile Working Class in Pre-reform China

Living reference work entry


The aim of this chapter is to analyze how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Chairman Mao Zedong attained his status of rightful ruler by embedding the Confucian values in his concept of mass participation to create docile bodies and minds among the Chinese workers. In so doing, this chapter draws on Michel Foucault’s (ed. Rabinow P, The Foucault reader: an introduction to Foucault’s thought. Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1984/1991) genealogical (or historicalization) account to trace the key historical events that spiritually and bodily made a docile working class in Mao’s period. The chapter argues that this mindset was a central component in maintaining Chinese workers’ subordination to the Chinese rulers in the past and even in today’s China.


Genealogy Chinese history Chinese working class Mao Zedong Confucianism Thought control Docility 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Business School, University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia

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