China's Peasants: The Anthropology of a Revolution

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This landmark study of Zengbu, a Cantonese community, is the first comprehensive analysis of a rural Chinese society by foreign anthropologists since the Revolution of 1949. The authors examine the revolutionary experiences of Zengbu's peasant villagers and document the rapid changeover from Maoist to post-Maoist China. In particular, they seek to explain the persistence of the deep structure of Chinese culture through thirty years of revolutionary praxis. A video documentary, produced by the Potters and Tom Luehrsen, Zengbu After Mao, is available from New Dimension Media. For video purchase or rental information contact New Dimension Media, 85895 Lorane Highway, Eugene, Oregon 97405.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"If you were going to read one book to become informed about the social, political, economic, and cultural impacts of the Chinese Revolution in rural China and trends after the decline of Mao Tse-tsung's towering influence on it, this would be an excellent choice....well-crafted, highly informative." Journal of Anthropological Research

"The tight fabric of the book is dense with factual detail and social scientific theory, happily seasoned with biographical accounts of individual actors in the drama over the decades." B.E. Wallacker, Choice

"As one of the first major ethnographic investigations of rural society in the People's Republic, Potter and Potter's book deserves widespread impressive ethnography. It should be of interest to all who study rural China, regardless of disciplne." Andrew B. Kipnis, Journal of Asian and African Studies

A study of Zengbu, a Cantonese community, and the first comprehensive analysis of a rural Chinese society by foreign anthropologists since the Revolution of 1949. Examines the revolutionary experiences of Zengbu's peasant villagers and documents the rapid change-over from Maoist to post-Maoist China. An associated video documentary, Zengbu after Mao, is available from New Dimension Media, 85895 Lorane Highway, Eugene, OR 97405. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521355216
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2003
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; List of tables; Preface; Notes on the text; 1. The old feudal order: Zengbu before liberation; 2. Establishing the new order; 3. The ordeal of collectivization; 4. The Cultural Revolution; 5. Maoist society: the production team; 6. Maoist society: the brigade; 7. Maoist society: the commune; 8. Decollectivization: transition to the post-Mao period; 9. The cultural construction of emotion in rural Chinese social life; 10. Marriage, household, and family form; 11. Chinese birth planning: a cultural account; 12. Lineage and collective: structure and praxis; 13. Party organization; 14. The party ethic: a devotion born of distress and enthusiasm; 15. A caste-like system of social stratification: the position of peasants in modern China's social order; 16. The Chinese peasants and the world capitalist system; 17. The crystallization of post-Mao society: Zengbu in 1985; References; Index.
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