Urban Families in the Eighties: An Analysis of Chinese Surveys

Deborah Davis and Stevan Harrell

in Chinese Families in the Post-Mao Era

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 1993 | ISBN: 9780520077973
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520913578 | DOI:
Urban Families in the Eighties: An Analysis of Chinese Surveys

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Scholarship in the social sciences had been sacrificed to the whims and dictates of politics under Mao Zedong. The government had deemed sociology potentially dangerous, in that it intruded on the Party's desire to hold a monopoly over analyses of society. All sociology departments were abolished in 1952, and it was not until 1979–1980 that three departments—in Beijing, Tianjin, and Shanghai—were reestablished by the government as a first step in rebuilding a capacity to monitor and analyze social problems. Sociology departments soon opened at universities in other cities, with staff hurriedly recruited from other disciplines. This chapter draws upon some thirty-five of these urban surveys. The first sections draw heavily upon the statistics of the five-city survey, to set out the circumstances of families at the opening of the eighties, and the latter sections refer almost exclusively to other, later surveys.

Keywords: politics; Mao Zedong; government; sociology; Beijing; Tianjin; Shanghai; surveys; families

Chapter.  11396 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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