Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Development and Integration: The History of Engineers in the People’s Republic of China (1949–1989)
by Wang, Anyi, Ph.D., Technische Universitaet Berlin (Germany), 2015, 320; 10701488
Abstract (Summary)

The engineering profession has made a significant and distinguished contribution to Chinese society over the past century. It is a contribution, however, which has received little attention from historians apart from the lives of a handful of the most notable engineers. This paper intends to remedy the deficiency by providing an overview of engineers’ origins and development in China from 1949 to 1989. In this paper, the author attempts to analyze the developmental history of Chinese engineers by combining technology, culture and society to explore the factors affecting the development of engineers in socialist China. By reviewing the literature and empirically investigating biographical and bibliometric data, this dissertation not only demonstrates the development of the Chinese engineering profession, but also reveals characteristics of engineers’ education, career patterns and social status from 1949-1989. This research leads to the following findings, the first being the stages of Chinese engineers’ development. In the process of development, Chinese engineers were faced with various difficulties, including systemic factors that hindered innovation, alongside political factors. China witnessed several revolutions and reforms from 1949 to 1989, and Chinese engineers also went through ups and downs in the wave of history. Engineers have been through three stages from 1949-1989: They learned from the Soviet Union in the 1950s, and then started to explore their way out of the predicament through the construction of the Third Line, while suffering the eruption of ideological conflict of the 1960s-1970s, and then renewing and adjusting themselves in terms of engineering knowledge by learning from Western countries in the 1980s. The second finding is the characteristics of Chinese engineers’ occupational patterns. Engineers came from working class and peasant origins and rose through the systems of Chinese engineering education and industrial workplaces into positions of responsibility. The occupational characteristics of Chinese engineers will reveal aspects of engineers’ education, their career and vocational status, and their organizations and interaction with society. The work pursues the notion of engineers as a cohesive occupational group, treats individuals and institutions in so far as they contribute to the elaboration of this concept and tries to relate this to the wider context of the PRC in the 20th Century. This study has implications for the contemporary Chinese engineering profession, as it reasseses itself for its future development.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: König, Wolfgang
School: Technische Universitaet Berlin (Germany)
School Location: Germany
Source: DAI-C 81/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Asian History, Engineering
Keywords: Chinese engineers
Publication Number: 10701488
ISBN: 9781392355978
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