From Heaven to Earth: Images and Experiences of Development in China


From Heaven to Earth combines information on events, processes and structures into a comprehensive introduction to the study of reform in rural China. It provides an invaluable complement to contemporary studies of China by economists and political scientists. Elisabeth Croll draws on her extensive research and frequent visits to China, and on her first-hand studies of villages in many different regions, to look behind the simplistic notion of 'reform' as merely a 'return to capitalism'. Taking a distinctively anthropological approach to the subject, she discusses the age-old peasant dreams of sons and land, and how they have been shaped and reshaped to affect the way in which Chinese peasants, men and women, think about time and change. More practically, the study focuses on rural development, emphasising that the peasant household lies at the heart of recent rural reforms, making for new relations between state and village, a new family form, modified gender relations and single or two-child families.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1994


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