During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, especially from the end of 1968, the relocation program shangshan xiaxiang, “up to the mountains and down to the villages”, brought millions of urban middle school graduates to rural villages and to frontiers areas. The policy of sending urban educated youth to the poorest areas of the country meant a permanent change from urban to rural life and it was defined as a “revolutionary program” to rear “revolutionary successors”. Adopting a gender perspective, this essay presents the specific problems encountered by young educated females in adapting to life among the peasants and evaluates the repercussions of this experience in the reform period when they returned to the cities. Our purpose here is to illustrate not only the difficulties of the rural life, but also how and to what extent the relocation program effectively determined the life course of the women, looking at the problematic process of reintegration into a different urban society. Finally, we will show how the young educated females remember their past individual experience today, how they re-evaluate the revolutionary mass movement in the light of the current official discourse and the new socio-political context. From this perspective, the study will thus briefly illustrate how the assimilation process goes hand in hand with the rise of a strong collective identity and the emergence during the 1990s of a wave of nostalgia among former educated youth as an attempt to defend their cultural specificity in a rapidly changing society.

During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, especially since the end of 1968, the relocation program shangshan xiaxiang, «up to the mountains and down to the villages», brought millions of urban middle school graduates to rural villages and to frontiers areas. The policy of sending urban educated youth to the poorest areas of the country meant a permanent change from urban to rural life and was defined as a «revolutionary program» to rear «revolutionary successors». Adopting a gender perspective, this essay presents the specific problems encountered by female educated youth in adapting to life among the peasants and evaluates the repercussions of this experience in the reform period when they returned to the cities. Our purpose here is to illustrate not only the difficulties of the rural life, but also how and to what extent the relocation program has effectively determined the life course of the women, looking at the problematic process of reintegration into a different urban society. Finally, we will show how the female educated youth remember their past individual experience today, how they re-evaluate the revolutionary mass movement in the light of the current official discourse and the new socio-political context. From this perspective, the study will thus illustrate briefly how the assimilation process goes hand in hand with the rise of a strong collective identity and the emergence during the 1990s of a wave of nostalgia among former educated youth as an attempt to defend their cultural specificity in a rapidly changing society.

Le ragazze Zhiqing: l’esperienza femminile dell’esilio durante la Rivoluzione Culturale Cinese

Graziani, Sofia
2005

Abstract

During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, especially from the end of 1968, the relocation program shangshan xiaxiang, “up to the mountains and down to the villages”, brought millions of urban middle school graduates to rural villages and to frontiers areas. The policy of sending urban educated youth to the poorest areas of the country meant a permanent change from urban to rural life and it was defined as a “revolutionary program” to rear “revolutionary successors”. Adopting a gender perspective, this essay presents the specific problems encountered by young educated females in adapting to life among the peasants and evaluates the repercussions of this experience in the reform period when they returned to the cities. Our purpose here is to illustrate not only the difficulties of the rural life, but also how and to what extent the relocation program effectively determined the life course of the women, looking at the problematic process of reintegration into a different urban society. Finally, we will show how the young educated females remember their past individual experience today, how they re-evaluate the revolutionary mass movement in the light of the current official discourse and the new socio-political context. From this perspective, the study will thus briefly illustrate how the assimilation process goes hand in hand with the rise of a strong collective identity and the emergence during the 1990s of a wave of nostalgia among former educated youth as an attempt to defend their cultural specificity in a rapidly changing society.
Graziani, Sofia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/173025
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