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Private Life under Socialism: Love, Intimacy, and Family Change in a Chinese Village, 1949-1999
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Private Life under Socialism: Love, Intimacy, and Family Change in a Chinese Village, 1949-1999

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  49 ratings  ·  3 reviews
For seven years in the 1970s, the author lived in a village in northeast China as an ordinary farmer. In 1989, he returned to the village as an anthropologist to begin the unparalleled span of eleven years’ fieldwork that has resulted in this book—a comprehensive, vivid, and nuanced account of family change and the transformation of private life in rural China from 1949 to ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 12th 2003 by Stanford University Press (first published March 5th 2003)
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read it for class. but it's super interesting even for people not as into china. the author, Yan, spent like 14 years doing field research into the the private lives of people in a small village in northern china. so there is a lot of information about the social and private life changes that have taken place since Mao's communists revolution. some of the changes Yan discovered are shocking and would certainly make Confucius to role over in this grave.
Jessica Zu
The last book of this semester on Modern China but also one of the most fun book to read. The emotional dimension of Chinese rural family comes alive through this book. You feel it, taste it, smell it, and hear it.
The only thing lacking is a more balanced gender perspective and a larger context. But overall, it's a top-notch anthropological study with a historical depth.
This book is more of a 2.5, but I will round up because it does make some pretty sound arguments and it destroys a lot of stereotypes I think a western would have about Chinese life today. It isn't a page-turner though and the author tends to make excessive amounts of repetitions that drove me more than a little crazy (but were expected from an ethnography).
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