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Article
From Peasants to Farmers: Peasant Differentiation, Labor Regimes and Land-rights Institutions in China’s Agrarian Transition
Politics and Society
  • Qian Forrest ZHANG, Singapore Management University
  • John Andrew DONALDSON, Singapore Management University
Publication Type
Journal Article
Publication Date
12-2010
Abstract
The development of factor markets has opened Chinese agriculture for the penetration of capitalism. This new round of rural transformation—China’s agrarian transition— raises the agrarian question in the Chinese context. This study investigates how capitalist forms and relations of production transform agricultural production and the peasantry class in rural China. The authors identify six forms of nonpeasant agricultural production, compare the labor regimes and direct producers’ socioeconomic statuses across these forms, and evaluate the role of China’s land-rights institution in shaping these forms. The empirical investigation presents three main findings: (1) Peasant differentiation : capitalist forms of agricultural production differentiate peasants into a variety of new class positions. (2) Market-based stratification: producers in capitalist agriculture are primarily stratified by their positions in labor and land markets; their socioeconomic statuses are linked with their varying degrees of proletarianization. (3) Institutional mediation: rural China’s dual-track land system plays a crucial role in shaping the diverse and unique forms of capitalist production.
Keywords
  • China,
  • peasants,
  • agrarian transition,
  • capitalism,
  • land rights
Identifier
10.1177/0032329210381236
Publisher
SAGE
Additional URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0032329210381236
Citation Information
Qian Forrest ZHANG and John Andrew DONALDSON. "From Peasants to Farmers: Peasant Differentiation, Labor Regimes and Land-rights Institutions in China’s Agrarian Transition" Politics and Society Vol. 38 Iss. 4 (2010) p. 458 - 489 ISSN: 0032-3292
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/john_donaldson/11/