Making Capitalism in Rural China

Making Capitalism in Rural China

Michael Webber

This stimulating and challenging book explores the duplicitous nature of development in China. On the positive side, it brings longer and healthier lives; fewer children dead before they are five years old; more comfort and security from famine and disaster; more education; more communication; more travel; less war. But from another, darker perspective, development brings violence to some people – those who are in the way of the new things, those who cannot adapt to the new ways – and it threatens old knowledges, habits and societies as it disrupts old power structures.

Chapter 3: Buying Out Collectives and Farms

Michael Webber

Subjects: asian studies, asian development, asian geography, asian urban and regional studies, development studies, asian development, development studies, geography, human geography, urban and regional studies, urban studies


1 Sunan is southern Jiangsu, west-northwest of Shanghai. Suzhou, one of Sunan’s municipalities, is 100 km from downtown Shanghai, or 24 minutes by the new G-train service (see Figure 3.1). At Suzhou, a bus or cab can take you southwest towards the township of Mudu in 15 or 20 minutes. An old town containing pleasant landscaped gardens, Mudu is a prosperous and rapidly growing Chinese town of undistinguished apartment blocks, suburban shopping malls and industrial parks that was home to 55 000 local residents (and about half as many again migrants) in 2003. Adjacent to the southwestern boundary of Mudu is the village of Xie (谢村). Or, rather, it was – for Xie has been merged with two adjacent villages to form a new, larger village; and Mudu is no longer a town but has become part of the urban area of Suzhou. In 2003 Xie combined traditional village houses with newer, flamboyantly large, delta-style twostorey houses, bounded by an industrial park that spilled over from Mudu. But it was a village: the road was uneven, narrow and dusty; the bus was a Figure 3.1 Location of places referred to in Chapter 3 43 M2819 - WEBBER TEXT.indd 43 20/12/2011 08:38 44 Making capitalism in rural China dirty, crowded 25-seater; the households had vegetable gardens and some grew rice; there were a few dairying, shrimp, crab and mushroom raising activities; and the residents had rural hukou.2 It was home to 2700 people, a third of them migrants. In the 1980s and...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information