The specificity of guanxi – positive or negative social capital?
The text presents the problem of a Chinese-specific phenomenon known as guanxi. Their features and their connection with Confucianism were discussed. They emphasized their permanence and continuous presence in Chinese society, emphasizing their evolution after China adopted the principles of market economy. Also tried to look at guanxi in terms of social capital, showing elements connecting both phenomena. It has been noted that some researchers have a tendency to perceive guanxi in terms of negative social capital. This approach was considered as unauthorized as a result of Western ethnocentrism and pointed to the need to respect the cultural distinctiveness of the East and West. It has also been pointed out, that the interest in China and the role that guanxi play, especially in the sphere of economy, may be due to fears of Chinese domination, as well as the lack of understanding by the West that effective modernization based on other patterns is possible than those preferred in the Euro-Atlantic cultural circle.