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A Passion for FactsSocial Surveys and the Construction of the Chinese Nation-State, 1900-1949$
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Tong Lam

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520267862

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520267862.001.0001

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Foolish People versus Soulstealers

Foolish People versus Soulstealers

(p.75) 3 Foolish People versus Soulstealers
A Passion for Facts


University of California Press

In this chapter, the author analyzes the fears, resentments, and popular riots prompted by the census. He focuses on those who resisted the census and related state activities. The emphasis is on the actions and rationales of the rioting villagers, since the rural masses represented the bulk of the Chinese population at the time. The author also analyzes the stiff resistance mounted by the frontier populations, which under the old imperial order had been ruled indirectly and not subjugated to such a consistent statewide enumeration. These riots and acts of resistance by the rural and frontier populations reveal the novelty of the new national census, and the direct contact it required between society and state.

Keywords:   Chinese, population, riot, acts, imperial order

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