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State-Sponsored InequalityThe Banner System and Social Stratification in Northeast China$
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Shuang Chen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780804799034

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804799034.001.0001

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Clearing Boundaries

Clearing Boundaries

The Founding of Shuangcheng Society

(p.33) Chapter Two Clearing Boundaries
State-Sponsored Inequality

Shuang Chen

Stanford University Press

By examining the entire process of Shuangcheng settlement—from site selection, residence planning, settler recruitment, to final settlement—this chapter offers one of the first detailed studies of a government planning of a migrant society. While previous studies treat the Qing state as a passive figure in the frontier settlement in Manchuria, this chapter provides evidence of the Qing state’s active participation in and capacity for planning and settling a frontier. The chapter highlights one important strategy used by the state: during the settlement stage, the state eliminated existing social organizations among the settlers by scattering households from the same place of origin or same descent group among different villages. This boundary-clearing procedure provided a foundation for the state to build a two-tier hierarchy with metropolitan bannermen at the top and rural bannermen on the bottom.

Keywords:   frontier settlement, migration, Qing dynasty, boundary-clearing, Manchuria/Northeast China, state building

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