Graduate Student Sawyer Smith Explores the Relationship Between Corruption and Social Control Within the Chinese Government for Class Research

Sawyer conducted research into investigating the relationship between governmental corruption in the Chinese government and social order. The research provides a renewed approach to understanding this topic and a preview if the project is available in the abstract below.


“Government social control in China is a universally acknowledged topic but one that still has many unexplored facets. One of the unexplored aspects is governmental corruption within the Chinese government and how these illegal acts for personal and monetary gains affect the social control and order of the Chinese society. Following the Second World War, Mao Zedong’s communist controlled Chinese government tightened its grip over every aspect of the population including social norms and expectations all the way to economic systems and standards of living. This time period, even though the population suffered reduced ideological freedoms, was considered the “Golden Age” of communism in China and featured rapid industrialization, military operations in Korea, and very low rates of corruption among government officials. However, following the economic reforms of 1978, a huge spike in corruption emerged from the mid-low level government officials due to increased exposure to “western culture and values”. In order to combat western ideals of self-enrichment and material wealth, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) implemented many state-led programs aimed at increasing social accountability among its officials alongside many societally led programs aimed at increasing the social accountability of citizens and officials alike. The largest form of social control and potential corruption within the CCP is its infamous censorship programs where all major media outlets are sponsored and censored by the government who can at any time fire/hire editors, deny media passes, and even arrest journalists who speak out against the CCP. Due to the long history of government social control and political corruption, the Chinese government has an incredibly hard task of establishing confidence among its citizens and establishing itself as a true world power with the political and social systems to back it.”