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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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Reinventing Hierarchy

Reinventing Hierarchy

Metropolitan Bannermen Family Strategies

(p.162) Chapter Six Reinventing Hierarchy
State-Sponsored Inequality

Shuang Chen

Stanford University Press

By tracing the development of a single metropolitan banner family from the time of initial settlement to the end of the Qing, this chapter asks how the strategies used by individual families to survive and to expand their wealth shaped the social structure of Shuangcheng. It shows that, over time, some capable metropolitan banner households accumulated large amounts of land through private land cultivation and land sales. Moreover, because they lacked the support of a powerful kinship organization, metropolitan banner families acted collectively to negotiate with the state authority for their benefits. By the end of 1870s, wealth accumulation has transformed metropolitan bannermen from a state-defined population category to a powerful and wealthy social group in Shuangcheng society.

Keywords:   metropolitan bannerman, kinship organization, family strategy, land accumulation, inheritance, genealogy

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