Chapter

Family Strategies and Structures in Rural North China

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520077973.003.0006
Family Strategies and Structures in Rural North China

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This chapter explores family strategies and structures in response to socioeconomic and political changes over two generations in a peripheral region of rural North China. The data are household surveys conducted in Wugong village, Hebei, in 1978, at the end of the era of mobilizational collectivism; in 1984, two years after the reform agenda began to transform the village collective structure; and in 1987, when the household-contract system had taken root. The surveys are supplemented by interviews conducted in the course of more than a decade of fieldwork in this and other villages in Raoyang county and throughout central Hebei. The focus is on familial responses to macro political and economic change over the last half century, notably to the antimarket collectivism and the hukou population-control system implemented by a powerful party-state from the 1950s forward, and the contractual and market-oriented reforms and birth-control measures of the 1980s.

Keywords: family strategies; North China; surveys; Wugong; Hebei; collectivism; household-contract system; Raoyang; hukou

Chapter.  11830 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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