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Bound Feet, Young HandsTracking the Demise of Footbinding in Village China$
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Laurel Boussen and Hill Gates

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780804799553

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804799553.001.0001

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North China Plain

North China Plain

(p.41) Chapter Three North China Plain
Bound Feet, Young Hands

Laurel Bossen

Hill Gates

Stanford University Press

This chapter demonstrates how pervasive footbinding was among the mothers and grandmothers of women we interviewed in northern China. It begins by outlining political and economic background to the region and the development of the preindustrial cotton industry. Hebei province, surrounding Beijing, is the starting point. Heavily influenced by political changes and new developments in transportation and trade, Ding County, was the site of a landmark study of rural China in the 1920s and 1930s. Complementing the early research with new village material provides different perspectives on Ding County's decline in footbinding. Research in villages in Shandong, Henan, and Anhui Provinces provides additional information on the interplay of local environment, trade, girls’ hand labor, the pattern of footbinding and the pace of its decline.

Keywords:   North China Plain, Ding Xian, cotton textile industry, girls' hand work, footbinding

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