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Series:

Haidong Zhang, Jingqian Bi and Yelin Yao

Abstract

This paper provides a comparative analysis of regional differences in social quality among Chinese cities on the basis of survey data on six cities.1 According to relevant data, there were significant differences in social quality among different regions in four fields including social economic security, social cohesion, social inclusion, and social empowerment. Figuring out how to enhance social quality in an all-round way by improving social policies is a universal issue in China’s urbanization.

Series:

Catherine Lynch

In Liang Shuming and the Populist Alternative in China, Catherine Lynch offers an alternative understanding of Liang Shuming’s work. While the current work on Liang suggests a connection to other Asian philosophical traditions (like Confucianism and Buddhism), this new work argues that Liang’s work is an important part of the evolution of the modern Chinese thought and examines the role of populist ideas in the development of Liang’s thinking. In addition to Liang’s writings, this reading of Liang relies on lengthy interviews the author completed with Liang as well as with people associated with Liang. This book adds a new perspective based on access the author had to Liang while he was still alive.

Series:

Edited by Letian Zhang and Yunxiang Yan

This rare unusual collection contains a total of 774 letters, most of which were written by a couple, Mr. Lu and Ms. Jiang, who lived apart for more than fifteen years between 1961 and 1986 and relied mainly on letter-writing to communicate. They passionately revealed romantic love and conjugal compassion to each other; they discussed mundane details of everyday family life including management of the household economy, efforts of interacting with in-laws, relatives, and friends, learning course of raising children, and strategies of coping with financial hardship. They also sincerely engaged each other in a soul-searching process of making themselves into socialist subjects and participating in various political campaigns.

The content of these letters is as rich and complicated as the flow of life itself in which the personal, economic and political are intermingled together. The degree of sincerity and honesty in these letters is greater than that in many other kinds of historical data because the authors are not writing for public consumption. This rare collection of personal letters presents not only a huge amount of original and disaggregated data but also constitutes an oral history of social life in China that is unintentionally being recorded by the authors.

Series:

Edited by Letian Zhang, Fuqun Xi and Yunxiang Yan

This book presents a complete set of the daily work journals by a village cadre, Mr. Zhou Shengkang (1926-2012), from 1961 to 1982. Mr. Zhou carefully—and almost religiously—recorded all the meetings he attended or chaired, the information he received from his superiors, the various speeches and work tasks he completed, records of good and bad behavior by fellow villagers, details on village elections and leadership changes, and political campaigns and other important events in the community, plus his personal observations and reflections on these events.

To date such a systematic, rich, and detailed set of original work journal records have never appeared in published form or been made available to the public. When used as records of social history, Zhou’s work journals allow researchers to delve more deeply, and when used for comparative purposes, researchers can explore more widely to gain additional insights. Regardless of how the journals are used, they contain a gold mine of information waiting to be explored and uncovered.