From 1963 through 1966, more than 100,000 middle and high school students from China’s largest cities moved to Xinjiang, the Chinese frontier. Known as China’s “educated youth,” these teenagers were part of an ambitious state-led, urban-to-rural population resettlement project which aimed to transform people and place during China’s high socialist era. Intended as a project of permanent resettlement with an ever-expanding number of participants, the campaign came to an abrupt halt in the autumn of 1966 and withered slowly over the next several decades. The Chinese Communist Party’s will to change urban China, frontier China, and the minds and bodies of the nation’s youth was consistently tested by the tumult of its own making as well as by the resistance of the campaign participants themselves. Based on research at 20 archives in China, this dissertation presents a history of this urban-to-rural population resettlement program from its inception in the 1950s and 1960s to its bitter end in the 1970s and 1980s. It offers a revisionist account of the origins of the campaign, focusing on demographics, economics, and ideology rather than ethnicity or international security. It exposes the gulf between party-state rhetoric and lived reality and the challenges of acculturating urban peoples to rural environs through a close analysis of the on-the-ground experiences of the “educated youth” in Xinjiang. Finally, the dissertation uncovers how the Cultural Revolution disrupted and altered urban-to-rural resettlement in socialist China and how, in early reform era, the “educated youth” attempted to chart their own futures by resisting the party-state’s mandates.
|Advisor:||McCord, Edward A.|
|Commitee:||Brazinsky, Gregg A., Dickson, Bruce, Jacobs, Justin, McHale, Shawn F.|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||China, Cultural revolution, Opening and reform, Population resettlement, Xinjiang, Youth|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be