Dominating State, Longstanding Villages, and Familial Organizations: Approaching Rural Land Ownership in Southwest China through an Anthropological Perspective

April 19, 2018 - 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Dr. Yi Wu, Clemson University
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Dr. Yi Wu, Clemson University

 Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Yunnan Province, this presentation examines how the three major rural actors-local governments, village communities, and rural households-have contested and negotiated land rights at the grassroots level over the past six decades, resulting in a trilateral ownership in which the state, village communities, and rural families exert varying degrees of control over land resources. By initiating collectivization programs in the 1950s and 1960s, the state is the most obvious force that has fundamentally changed the structure of rural land ownership in China. Its continuous domination in the post-Mao era manifests in its reform of the land management institutions at both the national and local levels, in its firm control over the land market, and in local governments' intervention with agricultural production. However, using village-level data, my research also reveals the important roles played by village communities and rural families in shaping the structure of rural land ownership.

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  • Asian/Pacific Studies Institute
  • Global Asia Initiative