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Synopsis

This book presents a study in educational sociology, exploring the function of rural schools, which are a symbol of the state in rural society, in a time characterized by local cultural transition.
 
The book begins with an investigation of the status quo, background and history of a representative rural school, Fengning Hope Elementary School, and gives a definition of “the ‘states’ in villages.” Subsequently, on the basis of research on the teachers, an analysis of the courses taught, and comparison to other rural elementary schools of the same type, it reveals the dual status of rural schools and their relation with social development in rural areas.
 
Based on thorough fieldwork and empirical research, the book provides a new vision of the interactive relation between the state and rural society, particularly focusing on the role of rural education in that relation. In addition, it explores the reshaping of Chinese culture and the part that intellectuals play in the process of today’s cultural transition. For English-language readers and Western professionals, this translated version will offer an essential window into Chinese studies from a local point of view.

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