Over the last half century, China has evolved from a poor rural country to a geopolitical powerhouse. Rapid urbanization has been at the heart of that transformation, and as migrant laborers have left their villages, what has become of the rural communities that were once the center of economic, social, and cultural life? And how do contemporary Chinese scholars understand those changes? These are the questions that this compelling book answers. Lengshuigou village, located near the Shandong provincial capital of Jinan, was first studied by Japanese social scientists in the early 1940s and then again in the 1980s and 1990s. Building on these rich surveys, this book traces changes from the early twentieth century to the present day in family and lineage, social stratification, personal networks, annual and life cycle rituals, village politics, and elite formation. Drawing on their own large-scale survey of contemporary village households, the authors analyze the physical and institutional changes that have altered the community, as well as the shifts in interpersonal relations and attitudes that have upended centuries-old systems of patriarchy and generational order. This important book presents, for the first time in English, analysis by Chinese sociologists on the radical transformation of Chinese rural society.
About the Author
Lin Juren is professor and chair of the Department of Sociology at Shandong University.
Xie Yuxi is lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Shandong University.
Linda Grove is professor emerita at Sophia University in Tokyo, where she was vice president for research and international exchange.
Table of Contents
List of Measures
List of Figures and Tables
Chapter 1 Lengshuigou in Time and Space
Chapter 2 Changes in Village Politics and Village Elites
Chapter 3 Lineage and Family Relationships
Chapter 4 Social Structure and Social Life
Chapter 5 Cultural Tradition and Folk Customs
Chapter 6 Social Relationships and Network Structures
Chapter 7 Economic Structure and Development
Chapter 8 Transformation and Future of the Village
About the Editor