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Thu, Dec. 15th, 2005, 11:27 pm
mysteena:

I'm writing a paper on Chinese women's experiences in the 1940-50's Communist take over. I've found primary sources that are all positive about the changes made by the Communist party. The women who've written these sources all praise the liberation and freedom they received as a result of the changes made by the Communists. However, most of my secondary sources point out many negative effects of the Communist party. For example, even though the Land Reform promised land to women, many women still did not actually get to hold land in their name (so claims the secondary source.)

My question is this: Why can't I find primary sources that talk about the negative aspects for women during the Communist reforms? Do you know of any I could use? Or, is it possible that the women who had negative experiences would not have access to record their experiences? Perhaps they were the illiterate, etc,?

Thanks :)

Fri, Dec. 16th, 2005 01:45 pm (UTC)
escapetochengdu

I wrote my undergraduate thesis on social reform in Maoist China, paying particular attention to the new marriage law and its implementation. You're right about primary sources--there simply aren't any Chinese publications, interviews, etc that talk about the negative effects of these reforms.

To get that point of view, you must look west. One helpful source is located in the Library of Congress on microfilm. The American Consolate in Hong Kong produced thousands of documents chronicling Chinese media and internal news reports during the 1940s onwards. The documents are really fascinating. Here's one of citation from my thesis. This one dealt with the government's preparations for publicizing the marriage law.

Survey of People's Republic of China Press and Selections from People's Republic of CHina: Current Background 13 June 1950 - 1977, Hong Kong: American Consulate General. NARA: Microfilm01326, Reel 6.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

Fri, Dec. 16th, 2005 04:33 pm (UTC)
mysteena

Thanks so much. I'll check that source out straight away. Although, it does sound like you've already written my paper for me. Just email it, I'll turn it in instead.

Kidding, I'm just kidding :)