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Special Feature

Operating Norms and Practices of Residents’ Committees

The consequences and limits of management by numbers
Wang Di
Translated by Elizabeth Guill
p. 7-15


This article, which is based on fieldwork carried out within a Residents’ Committee in Beijing, explores the way in which this low-level urban society management authority functions. More precisely, it analyses the relationships established by these administrators with the higher echelons and likewise with the residents and the way in which these relationships develop, depending on the activities in question. It describes in particular how the expectations of the upper echelons, and the way in which they are expressed, orient and limit the practices adopted within these authorities and the operating norms that result. Particular attention is paid to the management by numbers imposed by the upper echelons, and its impact on the functioning of Neighbourhood Communities.

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Bibliographical reference

Wang Di, « Operating Norms and Practices of Residents’ Committees », China Perspectives, 2013/1 | 2013, 7-15.

Electronic reference

Wang Di, « Operating Norms and Practices of Residents’ Committees », China Perspectives [Online], 2013/1 | 2013, Online since 01 March 2013, connection on 07 May 2021. URL : ; DOI :

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About the author

Wang Di

Wang Di, PhD candidate in sociology, EHESS - Peking University.Peking University, School of Journalism and Communications (Xinwenyu chuanbo xueyuan), Beijing, 100 871, China (

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