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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.129) 5 Farmer
The Gender of Memory

Gail Hershatter

University of California Press

This chapter examines the entry of rural Chinese women into full-time collective farming and the implications for individual women, families, and rural collectives. It explains that the new organization of work brought a mixed experience for women including pleasurable sociality, economic, and physical pressure and a decline in the valuation of their spinning and weaving, which had been a crucial contribution to household welfare. It suggests that conflicts over how women should be remunerated and women's remembered characterizations of what was fair and what was not, illuminate the persistence of a gendered division of labor even as the content of women's work changed.

Keywords:   rural Chinese women, collective farming, rural collectives, gendered division, pleasurable sociality

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