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The history of the People's Republic of China is now an established discipline, with a built-in theoretical framework—aspirational socialism—and a first draft written by social scientists. The growth of the field of PRC history has been aided by an avalanche of unique grassroots sources....
Most recent research on the first three decades of the PRC has avoided theoretical reflection on the period, instead claiming an empiricist fidelity to the heterogeneity of lived experience. Yet the refusal of theory allows unexamined conceptualizations to structure the...
Scholars of Mao-era history adopt a wide range of approaches to the selection and treatment of source material. Some scholars regard published sources as propaganda, and therefore as biased and unreliable. For many, archival sources are the gold standard; others question the reliability even of...
This article examines two theoretical frameworks used to evaluate Maoist development. The first is based on neoclassical economic theory, and the second is rooted in the idea that the Chinese Communist Party made China into a state capitalist regime. Both these theoretical frameworks presume to...
This article describes the US origins of the field of PRC history. It argues that research on PRC history is widely derived from an approach to knowledge that predates area studies: the theory that societies can be controlled and changed through the transformation of human cognition—referred to...
This article explores the way PRC historians use analytical categories by looking at the emergence of a divide between production and the social reproduction of labor (all the work that goes into producing and raising laborers) that transformed and structured rural everyday life during the Mao...
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