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Molding lumps of clay: Political education through extracurricular activities for primary schoolchildren in Yangzhou, February 1949–June 1952

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
Author: Tao, Le
In 1950, Guo Moruo, then vice premier of China in charge of education, likened children to lumps of clay. In Yangzhou, the work of molding them began soon after the Chinese Communist Party took over this southeastern city in January 1949, through political education permeating not only curricula but also extracurricular activities in primary schools. Teachers, new students who were children of the Party’s rural cadres, and the Children’s Brigade all contributed to urban children’s rapid absorption of the new style, which consisted of behaviour patterns and language desired by the Party. As for promoting the new ideal, which required children to hate enemies, the results were at best mixed. Abstract hatred toward Americans was ignited among children in the Resist America Aid Korea Campaign. For those from merchant families, their family members became targets in the Three Antis and Five Antis Campaigns. Only in some schools, such children were pressured to turn against their families. But concrete hatred was hardly generated.
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Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Brown, Jeremy
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