Download PDF by Glen Peterson: The Power of Words: Literacy and Revolution in South China,

By Glen Peterson

ISBN-10: 0774806117

ISBN-13: 9780774806114

Examines the fight for literacy within the linguistically diversified, socially advanced, and politically delicate coastal province of Guangdong. Peterson examines not just the unfold of literacy but in addition how literacy was once conceived on the elite point and used on the renowned point.

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Extra info for The Power of Words: Literacy and Revolution in South China, 1949-95

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These sources proved especially valuable for gaining insight into the pre-1949 educational scene in different localities, since virtually all gazetteers carry sections on local education in the Qing and republican eras. I have also relied heavily on the prodigious and varied output of Guangdong's numerous provincial education journals during the 1950s and 1960s (most suspended publication in 1966 with the Cultural Revolution) and again since 1978. During the 1950s, especially, the Guangdong educational press was lively and provocative, making it a superb source for reconstructing both official debates and local scenarios.

27 As in the past, how the sishu 'problem' was handled depended on the attitude of local authorities toward them, which varied considerably. In some instances, local officials attempted simply to outlaw the sishu, while many others opted for a republican-style compromise: grudging tolerance of sishu coupled with intensified efforts to 'reform' (gaibian) them by asserting greater control over teachers and curricula. In some localities, for example, authorities attempted to ban sishu within a radius of two li of regular primary schools, presumably in order to prevent students from deserting the Minban Schools and the Reaffirmation of Voluntarism primary schools.

By 1950, the number of teachers, students, and schools was falling rapidly all across the Pearl River Delta and adjacent regions, the strongholds of lineage education in Guangdong. In the overseas Chinese county of Taishan, whose schools were especially dependent upon the flow of remittances, primary and middle school enrolments declined by 12 per cent and 49 per cent respectively within a single school term, while over the next several years the total number of schools in the county fell by 50 per cent.

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The Power of Words: Literacy and Revolution in South China, 1949-95 by Glen Peterson


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