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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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Social Formation in the Early Republic

Social Formation in the Early Republic

(p.225) Chapter Eight Social Formation in the Early Republic
State-Sponsored Inequality

Shuang Chen

Stanford University Press

By examining a rent-resistance movement in Shuangcheng in the early Republic of China (1912-49), this chapter reveals that the tensions built into the unequal land entitlements in the Qing continued to shape the formation of social and political groups after the collapse of the dynasty. This process took place along with a tide of elite activism following the fall of the Qing in 1911. Seeing the regime change an opportunity to overthrow the legacy of unequal land entitlement, rural bannermen living in 80 of the 120 villages launched a rent-resistance movement. The conflict soon escalated into a political struggle. Using the rhetoric of “citizenship” – a new discourse offered by the Republican regime – to attack the privileges of metropolitan bannermen, these rural bannermen articulate their identity as a distinct social group. This event also marked the completion of the social construction of categorical boundaries in this immigrant society.

Keywords:   elite activism, Republic of China, identity formation, property rights, rent resistance, entitlement

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