This article considers whether social organizations (SOs) in China have acquired more autonomy over time under the socialist market economy. To discern whether SOs are changing under the corporatist system, we use quantitative data analyses of a 2001 to 2004 survey of SOs in China. We find that the later the SOs were founded, the more autonomy they have and the more oriented they are to representing their constituents' interests. The data also verify that the later SOs were formed, the greater their desire for freedom from the party-state. Furthermore, SOs that are more autonomous tend to be more critical of the SO management system, but this holds only for SOs founded before 2000. After 2001, no correlation occurs between autonomy and the expressed desire for more freedom.
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