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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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Community and Hierarchy

Community and Hierarchy

Banner Villages

(p.129) Chapter Five Community and Hierarchy
State-Sponsored Inequality

Shuang Chen

Stanford University Press

This chapter sheds light on the social processes at the village level that shaped the social hierarchy in Shuangcheng. The banner villages planned by the state evolved into territorial communities as village temples and communal lands became symbols to hold migrants of various backgrounds together. In the early stage of settlement, government land allocation shaped the village hierarchy in the absence of countervailing institutions. At the same time, village communities gradually played important roles in organizing private land cultivation and land transfer. Through these private activities of land accumulation, a significant number of rural bannermen gained wealth comparable to that of metropolitan bannermen. This situation allowed them to challenge the state-mandated social hierarchy. At the same time, metropolitan bannermen also acted to maintain their elite status in the villages. In this way, village communities created their own hierarchies based on settlers’ perception of the state-mandated hierarchy.

Keywords:   village, territorial community, communal land, social hierarchy, land transfer, land cultivation, local governance

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