This book discusses the relationship, interaction and conflict between everyday life and various institutions in a specific village in North China, with a focus on the formal and informal legal systems. It vividly describes the village’s “legal construction problems” as well as the customs and laws, and such it can be seen as a historical and innovative comment on China’s problems.
The book is based on the author’s field investigations assessing vast amounts of material concerning local organizations, formal and informal authorities, economic exchange, religious rituals, as well as interviews with villagers and numerous court files. It presents an in-depth exploration of “pluralism of authority” in China’s rural society, and examines how various authorities were formed. It also summarizes how various local disputes are resolved and discusses the villagers’ understanding of the concept of “justice.” Lastly, it suggests ways in which national law and local customs could communicate and collaborate.
Table of ContentsIntroduction.- Li Village.- Family and Family Division.- Marriage and Property Right.- Reciprocity and Power.- Ritual and Order.- Transition of Power Structure.- Pluralism of Authority.- Differential Mode of Justice.- Conclusion.