A survey of contemporary Chinese intellectuals.
Zhidong Hao's fascinating book, Intellectuals at a Crossroads, examines groups of contemporary Chinese intellectuals, their successes, failures, identity contradictions, and ethical dilemmas. Three categories of intellectuals are studied: organic intellectuals who serve specific interests, from government and business to working class movements; critical intellectuals who defy authority with continued social criticism; and "unattached" intellectuals who are fast being professionalized. Using a historical-comparative approach enhanced with demographic and rare interview data, the book bridges the traditional with the modern and the Chinese with the foreign by exploring how these intellectuals are adapting to their roles and influencing political, economic, and social change in the "new" China.
Zhidong Hao is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Whittier College.