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How to survive in Wuhan: Household coping strategies in China's socialist planned economy, 1961–1965

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
Throughout the twentieth century, people in Chinese cities have consistently talked about their daily economic activities, the prices of necessities, and the state's role in controlling commodities. This research puts money at the centre, exploring domestic economic lives of the new generation of post-1949 young employees in state offices who committed to the socialist project, and their connections with the development of the planned economy between 1961 and 1965. Using oral interviews, accompanied by historical sources from municipal archives, local gazetteers, and newspapers, this case study of Wuhan addresses two aims. First, while describing citizens' spending on food, strategies for saving and raising money, and participation in the grey economy, I present the complexity of memory and individual interpretations of the tension between policies and personal activities. Second, I look into how people lived, day to day, shaped by the political economic system, and explore how their family choices influenced the broader society.
81 pages.
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Copyright is held by the author(s).
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Brown, Jeremy
Thesis advisor: Cheek, Timothy
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