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The Gender of MemoryRural Women and China's Collective Past$
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Gail Hershatter

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520267701

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520267701.001.0001

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(p.96) 4 Activist
The Gender of Memory

Gail Hershatter

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on the political activities of rural Chinese women during the 1950s. It re-examines the party-state campaign for marriage reform initiated by the Marriage Law. It discusses the appeal of activism to these young women; the reconfiguration of village space they helped to effect through song, dance, and attendance at meetings; their investments in the Marriage Law campaign that often left their own household arrangements untouched; and the painful decisions to divorce taken by a small minority of women.

Keywords:   rural Chinese women, political activities, marriage reform, Marriage Law, young women, household arrangements, divorce

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