Rural-Urban Migration and Agro-Technological Change in Post-Reform China
Title
Rural-Urban Migration and Agro-Technological Change in Post-Reform China
ISBN
9789048552184
Format
eBook PDF
Number of pages
306
Language
English
Publication date
Dimensions
15.6 x 23.4 cm
Discipline
Asian Studies
Table of Contents
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Acknowledgements
INTRODUCTION
Arguments and aims of the book
Agriculture and migration
From 'migrant worlds' to 'community of practice' worlds
Knowledge, repertoire, and agency
Accessing the rural-urban community of practice
Structure of the book
References
1. HOW THE PREDICAMENT AROSE
Modern agriculture in Anren County
De-collectivization and marketization
Abolition of the collective welfare system
The new urban economy and increased migration
References
2. RICE KNOWLEDGE SYSTEMS IN TRANSITION
Transformation of agricultural knowledge transmission
Transformation of the repertoire of knowledge
Agricultural deskilling and extended knowledge repertoires
References
3. REFERENCE MODELS FOR TRANSMITTING KNOWLEDGE
Transmitting farming knowledge through proverbs
Educating the masses
Textualizing vernacular knowledge
Negotiating knowledge and farmer-state relationships
References
4. TECHNOLOGICAL CHOICE IN THE WAKE OF MIGRATION
Tilling with power ploughs and oxen
Harvesting with sickles and combine harvesters
Choosing harvesting technologies
Technological choice from a repertoire perspective
References
5. LAND-USE STRATEGIES
Sustaining intensive rice farming
De-intensifying rice farming
More than linear, more than technical
References
CONCLUSION: A SKILL PERSPECTIVE ON MIGRATION
Agency beyond resistance
Decision making beyond economic reasoning
Technology beyond linear progress
Migration beyond dichotomies
References
Appendix
I. Glossary
II. Solar terms
III. Song of the 24 Solar Terms
IV. Examples of proverbs and encoded knowledge
References
Index
Also available as
Hardback - € 105,00

Reviews and Features

"Meticulously researched, the book brings together labour migration, economic transformation and agricultural knowledge transmission. With solid empirical details and innovative angle, the book makes rare contributions to understanding socioeconomic changes in China and beyond."
- Biao Xiang, Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford, and Director of Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

"Kaufmann's wonderful study of China's migrant worlds is a must-read for anyone interested in the multiple material skills and resources that underprivileged rural populations marshal in their quest for the good life."
- Francesca Bray, Edinburgh University

Lena Kaufmann

Rural-Urban Migration and Agro-Technological Change in Post-Reform China

How do rural Chinese households deal with the conflicting pressures of migrating into cities to work as well as staying at home to preserve their fields? This is particularly challenging for rice farmers, because paddy fields have to be cultivated continuously to retain their soil quality and value. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and written sources, Rural-Urban Migration and Agro-Technological Change in Post-Reform China describes farming households' strategic solutions to this predicament. It shows how, in light of rural-urban migration and agro-technological change, they manage to sustain both migration and farming. It innovatively conceives rural households as part of a larger farming community of practice that spans both staying and migrating household members and their material world. Focusing on one exemplary resource - paddy fields - it argues that socio-technical resources are key factors in understanding migration flows and migrant-home relations. Overall, this book provides rare insights into the rural side of migration and farmers' knowledge and agency.
Author

Lena Kaufmann

Lena Kaufmann is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of History and an associate lecturer at the Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, both at the University of Zurich. Trained as an anthropologist and sinologist, she spent nearly four years in China, researching migration in the city and countryside.