China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
Although the 1950s witnessed the establishment of China’s hukou system that was to monitor and control citizen’s immigration between the city and the village, various forms of mobility, permitted or prohibited by the Chinese Communist Party, in fact commonly existed. Relying on the careful analysis of archival materials regarding people’s working and leisure life in the 1950s, this panel aims to examine people’s experiences of moving and transgressing in early socialist China. Expanding the definition of mobility, we understand this concept is not only as mobile spatiality but also as mobile identity.
Zheng Weian and Guo Yanping’s articles both investigate the geographical mobility. Zheng focuses on the illegal cross-border activities between Hong Kong and Guangdong, revealing the porosity of the cold war frontline. Guo instead looks at the travel of female projectionists in Shaanxi province, whose rights to mobile were sanctioned by the state. Such opportunities enabled them to transgress the private border and enter the rural public realm. Li Kunrui examines the mobility not in the geographical space but in the political space. He discusses the fierce struggles of cadres from different sides for the position in the hierarchal system during the Anti-localism movement in Hainan district. Wu Yiyang's study presents the immobility of workers by analyzing the Party's attempt to make use of workers' leisure time for organized games and sports meetings.