Public Talk Prof. Lee Zong-Rong 李宗榮

Posted on May, 12 2015

Prof. Lee Zong-Rong form the Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica, who is visiting the ERCCT as Visiting Scholar, will give a public talk entitled:

Kinship, Class and Political Cohesion among Business Elites in Taiwan

The talk will be held at Keplerstraße 2, room 038, on Tuesday, 19 March at 6.15 p.m. 

In the last two decades or so, political sociologists have started to analyze campaign contribution data in order to answer the extent of cohesion among corporate community and business elites. One of the important approaches within the broader body of scholarly works is the social class perspective that emphasizes the network mechanisms in bringing about the political unity among corporations and capitalists alike. Although scholars of class perspective have long implied the kinship network likely serving as one of such facilitative mechanisms, empirical studies providing direct evidence of such argument have yet to be seen. Derived from early writings of class analysis tradition, this study develops a kinship-based network model of political cohesion among business families, and test with campaign contribution data among major business groups in Taiwan. Empirical evidence shows that genealogy status, inheriting families and “kinecon group” membership – defined as closely connected owning families via consanguine and affinal ties— demonstrate significant impacts on the similarity of campaign contributions. The effects remain robust even after the genetic affinity among families and other alternative explanatory factors are considered. The findings suggest the existence of a kinship-based capitalist class formation in a market society where family dominance and intricate kinship ties are prevalent.