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Farewell to the God of PlagueChairman Mao's Campaign to Deworm China$
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Miriam Gross

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520288836

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520288836.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Preventing the Unpreventable

Preventing the Unpreventable

Chapter:
(p.115) Chapter Five Preventing the Unpreventable
Source:
Farewell to the God of Plague
Author(s):

Miriam Gross

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520288836.003.0006

This chapter discusses the famous prevention arm of the campaign, which included snail elimination and improved hygiene and sanitation. People resisted prevention prior to the establishment of communes, not only because they did not understand the concept of vector-borne disease, but also because prevention required digging, a disruption to feng shui, which residents believed could lead to long-term disaster for the community. Once locked into communes in the late 1950s, people participated because of revolutionary pressure and structurally embedded coercion strategies. Some key prevention strategies were never enacted, because people perceived them as decreasing agricultural productivity. Activities that did occur ground to a halt when pressure lapsed and resumed only when revolutionary momentum was strong. These inconsistent efforts were insufficient to bring the disease under control or to effectively change local hygiene patterns.

Keywords:   China, prevention, feng shui, collectives, coercion, production, snails, sanitation, mass mobilization campaigns

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