Property Rights and Wrongs

Ellen Oxfeld

in Drink Water, but Remember the Source

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780520260948
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520945876 | DOI:
Property Rights and Wrongs

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This chapter examines property disputes in Moonshadow Pond. Its aim is not to determine whose argument was legally correct in a particular case, especially because property rules have changed over time in reform-era China, and villagers do not always make their decisions solely on what they think is lawful. Rather, the chapter's aim is to discern the morality behind different property claims. The chapter concludes by looking at the case of Slippery Cheng, “the Man who sold the collective's land.” As the chapter shows, Slippery's case served as a template for the articulation of several different ideas about property. In the end, when people spoke about his case, their evaluation of how he conducted his social relationships was as important to their judgments as ideas about the legal validity of his claims.

Keywords: property; disputes; Moonshadow Pond; China; morality; claims; Slippery Cheng

Chapter.  10801 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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