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Marketing and Social Structure in Rural China, Part I

  • G. William Skinner
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I set forth in this paper a partial description and preliminary analysis of rural marketing in China. This neglected topic has significance with ranges far beyond the disciplinary concerns of economics. It interests anthropologists in particular because marketing structures of the kind described here for China appear to be characteristic of the whole class of civilizations known as “peasant” or “traditional agrarian” societies. In complex societies of this important type, marketing structures inevitably shape local social organization and provide one of the crucial modes for integrating myriad peasant communities into the single social system which is the total society. The Chinese case would appear to be strategic for the comparative study of peasant marketing in traditional agrarian societies because the integrative task accomplished there was uniquely large; because the exceptional longevity and stability of Chinese society have allowed the marketing system in many regions to reach full maturity prior to the beginnings of modernization; and because available documentation of Chinese marketing over several centuries provides rich resources for the study of systemic development—of change within tradition.

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1 A preliminary version was prepared for the Seminar on “Processes of Change in Chinese Society,” Toronto, Nov. 1–2, 1963, organized by the Subcommittee for Research on Chinese Society of the Joint Committee on Contemporary China. A reworked and abridged version of the sections on marketing communities was given as a Public Lecture at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Feb. 10, 1964. I am grateful for both opportunities.

2 On the side of documentary research, pioneering work was done by Katō Shigeshi. He and three other Japanese scholars have begun a systematic exploitation of fang-chih:

Shigeshi Katō, “Shindai ni okeru sonchin no teiki ichi” [“Rural Periodic Markets of the Ch'ing Dynasty”], Tōyō gakuhō, XXIII, No. 2 (Feb. 1936), 153204.

Tokuichirō Kuramochi, “Shisen no jōshi [“The Local Markets of Szechwan”], Nihon Daigaku Shigakkai kenkyū ihō, I (Dec. 1957), 232.

Tsuneo Masui, “Kanton no kyoshi” [“The Local Markets of Kwangtung”], Tōa ronsō, IV (May 1941), 263283.

Yukio Yamane, “Min Shin jidai kahoku ni okeru teiki ichi” [“Periodic Markets in North China during the Ming and Ch'ing Periods”], Shiron VIII, (1960), 493504.

Chinese scholars have produced two slighter pieces on rural marketing in earlier dynasties, for which contemporary gazetteers are unavailable:

Ko-en Ho, “T'ang-tai Ling-nan ti hsü-shih” [“Periodic Markets in South China during the T'ang Dynasty”], Shih-huo, V, No. 2 (1937), 3537.

Han-sheng Ch'üan, “Sung-tai Nan-fang ti hsū-shih” [“Periodic Markets in South China during the Sung Dynasty”], Li-shih yü-yen yen-chiu-so chi-k'an (Academia Sinica), IX (1947), 265274.

Field work on rural marketing was pioneered by Chinese sociologists. Ch'iao Ch'i-ming and Yang Mou-ch'un (Martin Yang), both trained in rural sociology at Cornell University, were the first to recognize the social significance of marketing systems. C. K. Yang's field study, conducted in 1932–33, remains a classic.

Ch'i-ming Ch'iao, Hsiang-tśun she-hui-ch'ü hua ti fang-fa [Methods for Mapping the Rural Community], Chin-ling ta-hsueh, Nung-lin ts'ung-k'an, no. 31 (Nanking, May 1926).

Ch'i-ming Ch'iao, Chiang-ning hsien Shun-hua-chen hsiang-tśun she-hui-ch'ii chih yen-chiu [A Study of the Rural Community of Shun-hua Township, Chiang-ning hsien], Chin-ling ta-hsüeh, Nung-lin ts'ung k'an, n.s. no. 23 (Nanking, November 1934).

Ch'ing-k'un Yang (C. K. Yang), A North China Local Market Economy, mimeo. (New York: Institute of Pacific Relations, 1944).

Mou-ch'un Yang (Martin Yang), A Chinese Village: T'ai-t'ou, Shantung Province (New York, 1945).

Mou-ch'un Yang, “Chung-kuo ti chi-chen-ch'ü yü hsiang-ts'un she-ch'ü” (“The Traditional Market town Area as a Modern Rural Community in China”), She-hui-hsüeh k'an, I (Dec. 1963), 2339.

Japanese field work in northern China has also produced a relevant literature, of which the two most important are

Kankōkai Chūgoku Nōson Kankō Chosa, ed., Chūgoku nōson kankō chōsa [Investigations into the Customs of Chinese Villages] (Tokyo, 19521958), 6 vols.

Motonosuke Amano, “Nōson no kenshi shijō” [“Traditional Rural Markets”]; “Nōson shijō no kōcki” [“Rural Marketing”], Chūgoku nōgyō no shomondai [Problems of Chinese Agriculture] (Tokyo, 1953), II, 69174.

It remains to mention two useful field studies of marketing in Szechwan:

T'ai-ch'u Liao, “The Rape Markets on the Chengtu Plain,” Journal of Farm Economics, XXVIII, No. 4 (Nov. 1946), 1016–24.

Spencer J. E., “The Szechwan Village Fair,” Economic Geography, XVI, No. 1 (Jan. 1940), 4858.

3 Field work was made possible by grants from the Social Science Research Council and the Viking Fund (now Wenner-Gren Foundation).

4 Research assistance was ably provided by Stephen M. Olsen and William L. Parish, Jr., both of Cornell University. I am also indebted, for assistance of one kind or another, to Hsiao Chih and John Liu of the Union Research Institute, Hong Kong; to Joseph P. L. Jiang, University of Singapore; and to Yinmaw Kau, Ichikawa Kenjirō, John T. Ma, and William John McCoy, Jr., all of Cornell University.

5 The two classical studies are: Christaller Walter, Die zentralen Orte in Suddeutschland (Jena, 1933). Lösch August, Die räumliche Ordnung der Wirtschaft (Jena, 1944); page references are to the English translation: The Economics of Location (New Haven, 1954).

6 It is convenience of exposition alone which dictates the introduction into this paper of a central-place typology prior to the description of systems. In fact, system analysis is prior to the construction of an appropriate typology.

7 This hypothesis is merely an extension of the theory put forward by Berry to account for the fact that in certain traditional societies, China included, the sizes of central places exhibit a rank-size distribution. (In a distribution of this kind, the number of cases in each ascending size class is a regular progression from small to large, with no deficiencies in the middle range.) The extension is hardly daring in view of the established “compatibility of Christaller-Lösch type hierarchies and rank-size distributions of city sizes.” Berry Brian J. L., “City Size Distribution and Economic Development,” Economic Development and Cultural Change, IX (July 1961), footnote 4, p. 573 and p. 582. See also Beckmann Martin J., “City Hierarchies and the Distribution of City Size,” Economic Development and Cultural Change, VI (April 1958), p. 246.

8 The use of the word “village” to refer to towns which are the site of standard markets is, however, common enough in the general literature. Spencer, for instance, uses “village” for “market town” throughout his Szechwan study even though it requires a definition of “village” (p. 48) which he admits does not hold for other provinces.

9 It is very nearly valid to say of traditional China that every settlement supporting a yamen was walled, but the converse—that every walled settlement supported a yamen—was never true. Especially interesting in this respect are the wei (“fortress town”) and so-ch'eng (“garrison town”), official categories of walled towns which, unlike the hsien-ch'eng, had no jurisdiction over territory outside the walls. I assume, however, that in these towns the headquarters of the military commander was also known as a ya-men.

10 Hsien-level units also included the chou (department) and t'ing (subprefecture). Details for the Ch'ing period are available in T'ung-tsu Ch'ü, Local Government in China under the Ch'ing (Cambridge, Mass., 1962), 17.

11 Some Aspects of the Urban Geography of the Chinese Hsien Capital,” Annals of the Association of American Geographers, LI (March 1961), 4244.

12 C. K. Yang's typology of Chinese markets is entirely acceptable so far as it goes. His terminology, however, raises problems. The levels I term “minor” and “standard” are called by Yang “basic” and “intermediate”—terms which become anomalous in regions with few or no minor markets.

13 Chang illustrates his hypothesis with a very atypical case—that of T'ung-kuan hsien, Shensi. Its district seat is unequivocally an intermediate market town, but the hsien is abnormally small, both its population and its area being less than one-fifth the national average. Hsien of average size are, of course, far more likely to have seats which support central markets.

14 Berry Brian J. L. and Pred Allen, Central Place Studies A Bibliography of Theory and Applications (Philadelphia, 1961), p. 153.

15 China's Gentry: Essays in Rural-Urban Relations (Chicago, 1953), Ch. v.

16 “In the Lake Tai area in my own native district, Wukiang, the garrison town is much smaller and less prosperous than the nearby market towns, such as Chen-tse.” p. 103.

17 Chou-ts'un's exalted status in the hierarchy of central places cannot be considered an anomaly resulting from the rail connections which the town has had since early in the century. To the contrary, completion of the railroad had precipitated a decline in the commercial importance of Chou-ts'un and led eventually to its economic dependence on Tsingtao and Tsinan, the railroad termini. Armstrong's comprehensive survey of central places in Shantung as of 1890 makes it clear that at that time Chou-ts'un, Chi-ning (a chou seat), and Wei hsien were all either local or regional cities in the economic hierarchy of central places—in positions superior to those of the provincial capital and most prefectural capitals. Moreover, at least five Shantung towns with no administrative status may be clearly identified from Armstrong's account as central market towns. Armstrong Alexander, Shantung (Shanghai, 1891), 5772.

18 Central places at these higher levels usually support several markets. The complex structure of marketing in such urban centers is not treated in this paper.

19 It would appear that within the same systems there is seldom any overlap in the size of central places at different levels. That is, the local city normally will have more households than any of the central market towns dependent on it; each central market town has more households than any of the intermediate market towns dependent on it, etc. For instance, Chung-hsing chen, a central market town in Hua-yang hsien, Szechwan, contained approximately 2650 households in 1934. The intermediate market towns dependent on it were all markedly smaller, ranging in size from 360 to 900 households. In turn, each of the intermediate market towns had more households than did any of its dependent standard market towns. The intermediate market town of Chung-ho-ch'ang, to cite just one example at this level, had 900 housholds in 1934, while the size of its dependent standard markets ranged from 50 to 279. Hua-yang hsien chih, Min-kuo 23 (1934), ch. 1.

20 A number of other distinctions among the three hierarchical types of market towns will be introduced below.

21 For a sophisticated treatment of this aspect of periodic marketing see Stine James H., “Temporal Aspects of Tertiary Production Elements in Korea,” Urban Systems and Economic Behavior, ed. Pitts Forrest R. (Eugene, Ore., 1962), pp. 6878.

22 Stine (p. 70) puts the matter succinctly: “The consumer, by submitting to the discipline of time is able to free himself from the discipline of space.”

23 I except here the most basic of all the natural units—the diurnal cycle.

24 Longer-term cycles are relevant only to the scheduling of fairs, as opposed to markets. It is unfortunately the case that the English literature on China often uses “fair” for periodic markets as well as for the festivals scheduled according to annual or other long-term cycles. At least in the case of China, the terminology should be standardized, for fairs and markets are functionally distinct, the length of their cycles do not overlap, and the Chinese themselves make a clear-cut conceptual and terminological distinction between the two. Hut or miao-hui (“temple fair”) are reserved for what I term “fairs,” whereas “markets” are usually called by terms involving one or more of the following: shih, chi, hsü, and ch'ang. Chi and its combinations prevail in the north, hsü and its combinations in the southeast, and ch'ang and its combinations in the southwest.

25 Needham Joseph, Science and Civilization in China, III (Cambridge, 1958), 396. “In the Shang period they were used strictly as a day count. The practice of using them for the years as well did not come in until the end of the Former Han ….”

26 Osgood Cornelius, on p. 88 of Village Life in Old China (New York, 1963) cites the case of a specialized rural market in Yunnan which suggests that market schedules could also be attuned to the 28 hsìu (“junar mansions”)—the zodiac-like segments of the heavens against which the motion of the moon could be measured. (See Needham, HI, 233–241). Osgood writes that the town of Ma-chieh was “.hellip; noted for … its market for horses and sheep which was held on those animal days of the calendar.” These refer to the animal designations of the 17th and 23rd of the 28 hsiu and would, therefore, coordinate with the six-day marketing week which was general in Yunnan. Analysis of this case however, requires more details than have been supplied by the author.

27 All figures taken from Needham, III, 390–406.

28 A singular irony may be involved here, for it is quite possible that the artificial hsün originated as the marketing week of the ancient Chinese. (Cf. Needham, III, 397.)

29 A definitive delimitation of the distribution of duodenary schedules would require reference to all extant gazetteers and/or interviews with informants from hsien near the putative boundaries of the duodenary area. The tentative generalizations given here are based on much slimmer data: a small sample of available gazetteers and the material presented by Amano (pp. 81–82) concerning market-day schedules in selected hsien of Yunnan and Kweichow.

30 Lo-p'ing hsien. Amano, p. 81.

31 Shang-lin, Kwangsi, is an example of a hsien all of whose markets follow regular 3-day schedules of this type. Shang-lin hsien chih, Kuang-hsü 2 (1876), ch. 4.

32 One example is provided by the capital of Ning-hai chou on the promontory of Shantung: five markets in and immediately surrounding the city follow five of the six possible regular 6-day schedules (Yamane, p. 500). One should also note the curious case of two markets in T'ai-p'ing hsien, Shansi. Their market schedules are listed in dates of the lunar month as follows: 3–9–15–21–27 and 5–11–17–23–29 (Yamane, p. 500). Six-day schedules of this kind must either be a description in lunar dates of a regular duodenary 6-day market schedule or else the conversion of such a schedule to the lunar month.

33 The various schedules in a scheduling system are set out in the form introduced here (note the integer series in each column) to point up thir inner logic and to demonstrate that all schedules in the system have been exhausted.

34 John K, Fairbank, Alexander Eckstein, and L. S. Yang, in their useful survey of China's traditional argrarian economy during the first half of the 19th century, state that markets with ten-day schedules were typical. This assertion is insupportable. Economic Change in Early Modern China: An Analytic Framework,” Economic Development and Cultured Change, IX (October 1960), 7.

35 For examples, see Amano, p. 72, Katō, p. 21, Yamane, pp. 499–500.

36 Feng-shan hsien ts'ai-fang tśe, Kuang-hsü 20 (1894).

37 Fitzgerald C. P., The Tower of Five Glories (London, 1941), p. 56; Ta kung pao (18 February 1961). Tr. in Survey of the China Mainland Press, No. 2476, p. 1.

38 Two-per-hsün schedules are standard for rural Korea in modern times. It is possible that the Koreans borrowed the Chinese system only after two-per-hsün schedules had become general in north China, but it seems more likely that Korea simply went through the same development as north China. One-per-hsün schedules were standard for rural Japan prior to modernization, suggesting that the Japanese borrowed the Chinese system at an early date when one-per-fhsün schedules were common. It remains an interesting question just why schedule doubling never occurred in Japan.

39 The 3-pct-hsün schedules listed earlier provide market cycles slightly more than two-thirds of which are 3-day weeks, the remainder being 4-day weeks. The innovation of 3-per hsün schedules, then, follows directly from the fact that 10 is integrally divisible only by 2 and 5, and the division by 3 yields a product closer to an integer than does division by 4.

40 Proof of the proposition that the regular hexagon is the most advantageous shape for marketing areas is given in Lösch, Ch. X. In common-sense terms, it may be noted that the appropriate model has two requirements: Markets should be so distributed that 1) the most disadvantaged villager in any given marketing area is no more and no less disadvantaged than the most disadvantaged villager in any other area, and 2) the distance from the market of the most disadvantaged villager in each marketing area is minimal. The first requirement means that all marketing areas in the model must be of uniform shape and size. Since all parts of the landscape must be in some marketing area, the only possibilities are the three regular polygons which are “space-filling,” namely, equilateral triangles, squares, and regular hexagons. The second requirement specifies that the more sides a polygon has the more efficient it is in this regard. To put it another way, as you move from the least advantageous position to the most advantageous position around the rim of the marketing area, the differential is maximal for triangular areas, intermediate for square areas, and minimal for hexagonal areas.

41 The point is worth noting, however, because the only study of rural marketing in China which refers to the shape of marketing areas insists that they “.… approach circular or square form.” C. K. Yang, p. 39.

42 Martin Yang, 1945, p. 190.

43 C. K. Yang, p. 39, refers to the marketing areas of Tsou-p'ing hsien as “. … economic cells, each … having its own boundary of operation … ”

44 Field workers have occasionally been misled in this regard by a failure to distinguish between standard and intermediate markets. Evidence that villagers attend two different markets—one standard and one intermediate—may be misinterpreted as an indication of their membership in two standard marketing systems.

45 Hsiang-shan hsien chih, T'ung-chih 12 (1873), ch. 5; Ch'ü-chiang hsien chih, Kuang-hsü 6 (1800); data reproduced in Katō, p. 34.

46 Data for this computation are given on pp. 5–6.

47 Yü-ti chih, tsśe 3 for villages, tśe 7 for markets.

48 Fang chün-i Chang Jen-chün, comp. Kuang-tung yü-ti ch'ūan-t'u [Comprehensive Atlas of Kwangtung] Canton, Kuang-hsü 23 (1897), 2 vols.

49 Martin Yang, 1945, p. 191.

50 Fei Hsiao-t'ung and Chang Chih-i, Earthbound China (Chicago, 1945), p. 172. Households marketed much less often in Yits'un, another of the villages studied by Fei and Chang, but this village falls in an area which is marginal to agricultural China and in which marketing areas are immense. Of this, more in the following section.

For the Szechwan Basin, Spencer (p. 55) estimates that on any given market day throughout the year, on the average every other family is represented at market—a proportion which, from my own experience, seems low. It must also be noted that many households are represented by two or more members.

51 Ch'iao Ch'i-ming, 1934, p. 15. In this study of a marketing community near Nanking, the inter-village membership of rotating credit societies is singled out for special notice.

52 “The landlord has an office in the market-town and keeps in touch with his tenants on marketdays.” Mei-yun Li, An Analysis of Social, Economic and Political Conditions in Peng-shan Hsien, Szechwan, China, Looking toward Improvement of Educational Programs, unpublished dissertation in education, Cornell University, 1945, p. 223.

53 Pp. 49 (Fig. 1 caption) and 51–52.

54 Chin-t'ang hsien chih, Min-kuo 10 (1921), ch. 1. One of the market towns involved lies in Hua-yang hsien; the schedule of its market is given in Hua-yang hsien chih, Min-kuo 23 (1934), ch. 1.

55 An equivalent example in a hsien where the 4-per-duodenum scheduling system is standard is provided by the intermediate marketing system centered on Pai-hsü (Shang-lin hsien, Kweichow), which has a yin-shen-ssu-hai schedule; its five dependent standard markets necessarily eschew Pai-hsü's schedule and share among them the two other possibilities. For market schedules see Shang-lin hsien chih, Kuang-hsü 2 (1876); data reproduced in Katō, pp. 26–27.

56 Everything which a peasant can do in his standard market can also be accomplished in his intermediate market. For those villages whose closest market is situated in an intermediate market town, the intermediate market is also the standard market.

57 The place of the intermediate market in the distribution system gives it certain economic advantages vis-à-vis neighboring standard markets in the competition for peasant (i.e. standard-market) trade. Prices paid for local produce tend to be slightly higher, and prices charged for imported items tend to be slightly lower in the intermediate markets than in standard markets. One therefore expects standard marketing areas centered on intermediate market towns to be somewhat larger than neighboring standard marketing areas centered on standard market towns.

58 I have come across only one comparable case in 3-per-hsün areas of a doubled “large” and “small” market schedule: Ts'ai-lang-ch'iao, an intermediate market in Yin hsien, Chekiang, held its “large” market on a 3–5–8 schedule and its “small” market on a 1–7–10 schedule. Yin hsien tung-chih, 1937, Yū-ti chih, tśe 7.

59 Luan chou chih, Chia-ch'ing 15 (1810), ch. 2.

60 In the case of Li-ling hsien, Hunan, for instance, markets on a daily schedule in 1948 included all central markets, but only three of the ten intermediate markets and none of the standard markets.

61 The one exception is provided by Ta-pu hsien, Kwangtung, in which the two intermediate markets follow 2-per-hsün schedules as opposed to the 3-per-hsün schedules of their dependent standard markets.

62 Chang Sen-dou, p. 42, asserts that the book stores of a hsien were found only in the capital. It may have been true that in traditional times books were ordinarily not available in intermediate market towns which were not also hsien seats, but central market towns other than hsien seats—like Chung-hsing chen, Hua-yang hsien, Szechwan—did support stationery and book stores in traditional times. As of 1949, stationery supplies and books were available in all intermediate market towns in Hua-yang hsien.

63 Data from Ch'ang-shan hsien chih, Chia-ch'ing 6 (1801). The central marketing system centered on Ting hsien, Hopei, provides another example. Gamble Sidney D., Ting Hsien (New York, 1954). From Table 88, p. 284, it is clear that 2-per-hsün schedules which overlap the market days of the hsien city's central market are underrpresented in the lower-level markets of the hsien.

64 Cf. C. K. Yang, pp. 32–33: “Only four stores in Sunchiachen and seven stores in the County Seat [both intermediate market towns] do a very limited wholesale business along. … with retailing which holds their main attention.”

65 Particular cases are described in detail, pp. 129 ff.

66 Yamane, p. 502. Prior to 1726, licenses were issued by each hsien or chou.

67 Redfield Robert, Peasant Society and Culture (Chicago, 1956), p. 70 ff. It may, in the case of China, be only a minor distortion to conceive of the “great tradition” as unitary and homogeneous, but the variety and heterogeneity of its counterpart among the peasantry preclude any such conception. Instead of one “little tradition” there were many, and I allude here to the tendency for each to be associated with a standard marketing community.

68 As used in this paper, “agricultural China” refers to a specifically defined contiguous area inclusive for the most part of what used to be called China Proper. The line separating agricultural from nonagricultural China was drawn along hsien boundaries (as of 1958) 'so as to include in the former practically all hsien with population densities of at least 10 per square kilometer. In lieu of a map defining this line, its course may be briefly described (in terms of 1958 provinces) as excluding approximately the northern third of Heilungkiang; including all of Kirin, Liaoning, Hopei, Shansi and Shensi; including a small portion of Inner Mongolia A. R., approximately two-fifths of Ningsia A. R., most of Kansu, and a few hsien in easternmost Tsinghai; and excluding the mountainous tracts in the west of Szechwan and Yunnan. Agricultural China (inclusive of Hainan but not Taiwan) incorporates 4,180,000 sq. km., as compared with 4,159,400 sq. km. in non-agricultural China (exclusive of Tibet and Chamdo). In 1958 there were 1791 hsien-level units in the former, and 260 in the latter.

In general, land productivity is so low and population so thinly settled in what is here defined as non-agricultural China that marketing systems cannot exist in the form described in this paper.

69 I see no merit in the notion that “walking distance” is in any sense a determinant of the size of marketing areas. Cf. C. K. Yang, pp. 14–15. If the spacing of market towns were somehow set simply to enable the most disadvantaged villager to walk to his market, carry out his business and return home during the daylight hours, then the size of standard marketing areas would vary within a narrow range. In fact, most of China's standard marketing areas are far smaller than any consideration of walking distance requires, and in areas on the periphery of agricultural China, they become so large that the one-way trip to market from disadvantageous situated villages takes more than one day. This would appear to be the case with a number of villages in the vicinity of Yits'un, Yunnan, if one may judge from the details supplied by Fei Hsiao-t'ung and Chang Chih-i, pp. 170–172.

70 Standard marketing systems in northwestern Szechwan were atypically large in the late republican period because the area was relatively uncommercialized. See Part II.

71 Exceptions were for the most part limited to the households of “outsiders” living on or near the highway at the northeastern rim of Kao-tien-tzu's marketing area. That part of the marketing area which lay nearest to Chengtu and through which the highway passed included in 1947 approximately 140 “downriver” Chinese, i.e., Chinese from provinces other than Szechwan, most of whom had come to the vicinity of Chengtu during World War II; and approximately 290 Szechwanese whose native place lay outside Hua-yang hsien. Few of these outsiders were peasants; some were shopkeepers in the yao-tien on the highway, others were rickshaw pullers or transport coolies who “worked” the intermediate marketing system centered on Niu-shih-k'ou, and still others were suburban residents with jobs in the city. Mr. Lin knew few of these individuals and cared little about them. “Outsiders” in the market town itself, however, were another matter. In 1947 there were 58 such individuals, including shopkeepers and schoolteachers; all were Szechwanese, and Mr. Lin knew most of them.

72 This assertion takes into account the comparative stability in the membership of Kao-tien-tzu's marketing community from one generation to the next. The social knowledge gained during each market day is cumulative over a lifetime in direct proportion to the continuity of resident households and in inverse proportion to the amount of family migration into and out of the marketing community. Of the families in Kao-tien-tzu's community in the late 1940's, the great majority were a direct continuation of families already resident there at the turn of the century; of the new households, more had been formed through segmentation of local families than had been established by in-migrants. Even in the case of the small portion of the marketing area through which the highway passed (described in Footnote 71), no less than 80 per cent of the households included no one born outside the district in which they now lived. In the much larger portion of the marketing area away from the highway—including four-fifths of the community's population—over 95 per cent of all households consisted solely of locally-born individuals. Cf. Skinner G. W., “A Study in Miniature of Chinese Population,” Population Studies, V (Nov. 1951), 91103.

73 Personal communication of 8 February 1964. Also see Pratt Jean A., “Immigration and Unilineal Descent Groups: A Study of Marriage in a Hakka Village in the New Territories, Hong Kong,” Eastern Anthropologist, XIII (1960), 147158.

74 Several examples from Chin-chiang hsien, Fukien, are cited by Father Amyot in his description of the home territory of the Philippine Chinese. Amyot Jacques S. J., The Chinese Community of Manila: A Study of Adaptation of Chinese Familism to the Philippine Environment (Chicago, 1960), pp. 4452. After noting that the villages in which lineages of the same surname are localized tend to be concentrated in a particular hsiang, Amyot notes (p. 40): “In the usage of this area, the term hsiang may designate either a complex of villages and hamlets forming some kind of unity, or again, the largest village of the complex from which the latter derives its name. It is usually a market town.”

75 Kaoru Mizuno, Hokushi no nōson [North China's Villages] (Peking, 1941), p. 171.

76 Cf. Freedman Maurice, Lineage Organization in Southeastern China (London, 1958), Chs. 8–9.

77 Fang-chih themselves occasionally provide a glimpse of the controlling power which a dominant lineage holds in a particular market. See, e.g., Kuramochi, p. 25.

78 C. K. Yang, pp. 18–20.

79 Cf. Kung-chuan Hsiao, Rural China: Imperial Control in the Nineteenth Century (Seattle, 1960), pp. 313–14.

80 An account of 1836 describes the establishment of an organization on Ho-nan island, near Canton, which can only be interpreted as a formalization of structure within a standard marketing community: Twenty-four different villages have joined together to build a large house for purposes of general consultations; this stands at the market town.…Chinese Repository, IV (1836), p. 414. Cited in Hsiao, p. 309.

81 Hsiao, pp. 288–289, 306–308.

82 Documents specifying the weights and measures to be used in individual markets are cited by Kuramochi, p. 24, and by C. K. Yang, pp. 18–19.

83 C. K. Yang, pp. 20–21. The situation in this regard was, as late as 1950, very similar in the Szechwan Basin.

84 Cited in Amano, p. 156.

85 Grootaers Willem A., “Temples and History of Wan-ch'üan (Chahar), the Geographical Method Applied to Folklore,” Monumenta Serica, XIII (1948), 209216.

86 Li Mei-yun, p. 212.

87 Erik Wolf refers to the Janus-faced qualities of the individuals who serve as “brokers” between community-oriented and nation-oriented groups. Aspects of Group Relations in a Complex Society: Mexico,” American Anthropologist, LVIII (1956), p. 1076.

88 Hsiao Kung-chuan's monograph is rich in detail concerning the interrelations between peasant villagers, members of the local élite, and bureaucratic officials. Many of these data are profitably analyzed in terms of local-élite brokerage between the peasantry and bureaucratic officialdom. For the hsiang-yüeh lecture system, see pp. 184–206.

89 As noted in the preceding section the intermediate market town served as the center not only of an intermediate marketing system but also of a smaller standard marketing system, and the town had a dual function. Each intermediate market town was, for instance, the locus, on the one hand, of interclass relations between peasants and the local élite of its standard marketing area and, on the other, of interdass relations between traders and the local elite of its intermediate marketing system. It is nonetheless useful to keep the two functional levels analytically distinct. Certain teahouses and several of the wine-houses of the intermediate market town were socially off-limits for the peasantry. These, together with the headquarters of many associations, must be seen as institutions relevant solely to the town's role as hub of an intermediate marketing community.

90 Fried Morton H., Fabric of Chinese Society (New York, 1953), pp. 1718.

91 Ping-ti Ho, The Ladder of Success in Imperial China (New York, 1962), Ch. 2.

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The Journal of Asian Studies
  • ISSN: 0021-9118
  • EISSN: 1752-0401
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-asian-studies
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