Where Urban Migrants Met Rural Settlers

Overview

In this dissertation, I study the implications for patterns of equality and inequality of a common state practice in Chinese history, the creation of population categories with differentiated entitlement rights, using a well-documented example. In 1815, in response to the fiscal challenge of supporting bannermen, an elite population who depended on state stipends for their livelihoods, the court established a state farm in Shuangcheng in Northeast China, planning to relocate metropolitan bannermen from Beijing ...
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Overview

In this dissertation, I study the implications for patterns of equality and inequality of a common state practice in Chinese history, the creation of population categories with differentiated entitlement rights, using a well-documented example. In 1815, in response to the fiscal challenge of supporting bannermen, an elite population who depended on state stipends for their livelihoods, the court established a state farm in Shuangcheng in Northeast China, planning to relocate metropolitan bannermen from Beijing there to become farmers. The court also relocated rural bannermen from other parts of Northeast China to Shuangcheng to help the metropolitan bannermen adapt to the rural environment. Eventually, 3,000 rural and 698 metropolitan banner households resettled in the 120 banner villages in Shuangcheng, living off the land allocated by the state. The state divided these official immigrants and other unofficial immigrants to this area into four population categories with differentiated entitlements to land: metropolitan and rural bannermen as the haves and floating bannermen and civilian commoners as the have-nots. I demonstrate the implications for inequality of the interplay of state land allocation policies based on population category and local land acquisition practices by analyzing longitudinal individual-level population data, household-level landholding data, and qualitative documents from central and local archives. The state's land allocation policies maintained inequality between categories and promoted equality within them: metropolitan bannermen had twice as much land as rural bannermen, while floating bannermen and civilian commoners were excluded from land allocation altogether. Despite the persistence of various local practices of land accumulation, transaction, and inheritance, the data demonstrate enduring between-category inequalities and within-category equalities among the majority of the population in Shuangcheng from 1870 to 1912. Moreover, tensions built into the unequal distribution of land transformed administrative categories into distinct social groups that transcended individual and polity. By documenting this instance of the state's creation of population categories through the allocation of land and contextualizing it in Chinese history more broadly, this study shows the salience of within-category equalities and between-category inequalities created by state policy in stratification processes in Chinese society.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781243705457
  • Publisher: BiblioLabsII
  • Publication date: 9/8/2011
  • Pages: 394
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.81 (d)

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