After I finished my dissertation on class and political behavior in Mao's China at Berkeley in 1992, I became preoccupied with different research interests. Nevertheless, I have never hesitated to spend time on converting my dissertation into book form. This has meant a lot to me because it has kept alive my memory of the six years my family and I spent in the San Francisco Bay Area. My wife, Yuling, sacrificed her academic ambition to support our children during our stay in Albany, California. She never failed to urge me to be all I could be. Without her encouragement, I probably would not be where I am today. I want to thank her from the bottom of my heart. I also want to extend thanks to my daughter, Lisa, and my son, Lucien. They have taught me to be a better person and have filled my life with beautiful sunshine.
While I acknowledge full responsibility for this work and any errors it may contain, many people have been generous with their time in helping me complete my project. Foremost is my dissertation committee at Berkeley, Thomas Gold, Michael Hout, and Elizabeth Perry. Their expert counsel and comments were invaluable. Elizabeth Perry has encouraged me to publish my dissertation since 1992. So have Thomas Gold, Michael Hout, and Graeme Lang, my colleague at City University of Hong Kong. Andrew Walder read my dissertation and gave many valuable suggestions. I also benefited from comments on my job talk from my former colleagues in the Department of Sociology at the Flinders University of South Australia. I am, however, solely responsible for the interpretations and materials presented in this book.
I would also like to thank Samuel Gaylord for his editorial assistance in preparing this book.
The Institute of International Studies at University of California at Berkeley provided partial financial support for my field research in the form of a Simpson Dissertation Fellowship for the academic year of 1990-1991.
This book is based on my interviews with fifty-seven Chinese students and immigrants in the San Francisco Bay Area between 1990 and 1991. I wish to thank them wholeheartedly. They generously shared their personal stories with me. Their Cultural Revolution experience helped shape my approach toward the study of family life and behavioral development in China.
Writing this book was a self-rediscovery process. Before my field research, I had sometimes unconsciously and at other times consciously allowed myself to forget my own Cultural Revolution experience. The Cultural Revolution