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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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Building Boundaries

Building Boundaries

Land Allocation and Population Registration

(p.61) Chapter Three Building Boundaries
State-Sponsored Inequality

Shuang Chen

Stanford University Press

This chapter examines the ways the state built new boundaries among immigrants. It analyzes the four population categories recorded on state household registers—metropolitan, rural, and floating bannermen, and civilian commoners—as well as the unregistered population. Through land allocation, the state assigned these population categories differentiated entitlements. Each metropolitan banner household received twice as much land as a rural banner household did. Floating bannermen and civilian commoners had no entitlement to land and could only work as tenants and laborers. Moreover, the state purposefully used population registration to manipulate the entitlements of its subject population, as it intentionally left a large size of unregistered population outside of the system. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the distribution of registered land ownership among the four population categories a half century after the initial settlement, showing the enduring inequality created by state land allocation.

Keywords:   Population registration, boundary-making, entitlement, land allocation, land ownership, structural inequality, state building

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