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Fate and Fortune in Rural China
Social Organization and Population Behavior in Liaoning 1774–1873

$62.00 ( ) USD

Part of Cambridge Studies in Population, Economy and Society in Past Time

$62.00 USD ( )
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About the Authors
  • Fate and Fortune in Rural China is a major contribution to the study of both the social and population history of late traditional China, and that of historical demography in general. Lee and Campbell demonstrate the interaction between demographic and other social pressures, and illustrate graphically the nature of social mobility and social organization in rural China during the century from 1774SH1873. Their conclusion--that social norms, rooted in ideology, determined demographic performance--is supported by a mass of hitherto inaccessible primary data.

    • Major reappraisal of population history of late traditional China
    • Striking investigation of interaction of social, cultural and ideological factors in demographic behaviour
    • Important Chinese demographic material presented to western readers
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "I strongly recommend this book to be a required reader for any future China scholars in the disciplines of anthropology, sociology, history, demography, or research methodology." Huang Shu-Min, American Anthropologist

    "This important book will be of great interest to students of Chinese society and to comparative demographers." C. Schirokauer, Choice

    "This book is the latest step forward in the historical micro-demography of China....The authors are to be commended for the meticulous work and intelligent sense of problem that have led them to this major achievement." Steven Harrell, Population and Development Review

    "The authors are to be congratulated for the meticulous work and intelligent sense of problem that have led them to this major achievement." Stevan Harrell, Population and Development Review

    "I strongly recommend this book to be a required reader for any future China Scholars in the disciplines on anthropology, sociology, history, demography or research methodology." Huang Shu-Min, American Anthropologist

    "...shows how methods generated by demographers for reconstructing partial data sets allow historianx to make greater use of available records." Christopher M. Isett, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

    "It is a classic study of social history an dhistorical sociology, where two of the most important aspects of a human society - population reproduction and social organization - are examined together." "The numerous facts and insights offered in the book also shed much light on the understanding of human societies in general and Chinese society in particular. Any serious effort in the studies of comparative historical demography, comparative social history, and comparative historical sociology will have to look up to this book not only as a source of inspiration, but also as a new standard." Wang Feng, Social Forces

    "This is a landmark work on Chinese social history. It pioneers the banner registers, a new source of data on late imperial China, and it raises Chinese population history to a new level of methodological sophistication. It offers an unprecedented view kof social stratification and mobility at the lower end of the social spectrum in premodern China. And it presents very intriguing data on demographic processes that are unlike any other data available for premodern China." Am. Jrnl of Sociology

    "...a major addition not only to the historiography of CHinese peasant populations but to the literature of historical demography in general." Andrejs Plakans, The Historian

    "This is a well-written book...Social historians will find this a useful reference, both for the methodology it presents and for the organization of information that may serve as a background for research in other types of archival material." China Review International

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2011
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511823138
    • contains: 3 maps
    • availability: Adobe Reader ebooks available from
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    List of maps
    List of tables
    Part I. Daoyi Village:
    1. Prologue
    2. Social organization and social mobility
    3. Spatial and temporal setting
    Part II. The Liaoning Demographic System:
    4. Two types of positive check: infanticide and neglect
    5. Two types of preventive check: nuptiality and fertility
    Part III. Household Organization and Population Behavior:
    6. Domestic cycle and household formation
    7. Domestic hierarchy and demographic privilege
    Part IV. Banner Organization and Population Behavior:
    8. Bannermen and banner organization
    9. Banner hierarchy and demographic privilege
    10. Two types of social mobility
    Epilogue: prospects, implications and comparisons

  • Authors

    James Z. Lee, California Institute of Technology

    Cameron D. Campbell, University of California, Pasadena

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