Creating the Intellectual redefines how we understand relations between intellectuals and the Chinese socialist revolution of the last century. Under the Chinese Communist Party, “the intellectual” was first and foremost a widening classification of individuals based on Marxist thought. The party turned revolutionaries and otherwise ordinary people into subjects identified as usable but untrustworthy intellectuals, an identification that profoundly affected patterns of domination, interaction, and rupture within the revolutionary enterprise. Drawing on a wide range of data, Eddy U takes the reader on a journey that examines political discourses, revolutionary strategies, rural activities, urban registrations, workplace arrangements, organized protests, and theater productions. He lays out in colorful detail the formation of new identities in Chinese society as well as new forms of organization and association. The outcome is a compelling picture of the mutual constitution of the intellectual and the Chinese socialist revolution, the legacy of which still affects ways of seeing, thinking, acting, and feeling in what is now a globalized China.
“This is an illuminating study of how the introduction in early twentieth-century China of the new category of ‘intellectual’ not only altered the status of millions of educated Chinese but also transformed the trajectory of Chinese Communism itself.” ELIZABETH J. PERRY, Professor of Government, Harvard University
“Innovatively framing the story as a decades-long process, Eddy U conclusively demonstrates the political construction of the ‘intellectual’ as a social category by the Chinese Communist Party. This book deepens our understanding of the tortured relationship between the Chinese Communist Party and these individuals, one that would have catastrophic consequences during the Cultural Revolution.” ANDREW WALDER, Professor of Sociology, Stanford University
EDDY U is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Davis. He is the author of Disorganizing China: Counter-Bureaucracy and the Decline of Socialism.
U, E. 2019. Creating the Intellectual: Chinese Communism and the Rise of a Classification. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.68
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