The issue of women's liberation provided one of the most critical terrains on which China endeavored to construct its modernity. At a certain moment, Chinese women's liberation also figured centrally within western feminism as a means of structuring its own forms of knowledge and politics. This chapter explores the multiple deployments of meaning and power constituting “women's liberation” as it reconsiders the heterogeneous processes through which a small group of women felt galvanized to adopt the kinds of revolutionary subject-positions that the socialist regime provided for them. It focuses on the oldest cohort of women workers, who came of age with the 1950s nationalization of urban industries. In Hangzhou's silk factories, a particular fraction of this cohort repeated that the revolution had liberated them.
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