FOREWORD ····· I
PEASANT LIFE IN CHINA (ABRIDGEMENT, 1936)·············· 1
AN INTERPRETATION OF CHINESE SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND ITS CHANGES (1946)·· · · · · 143
KAIXIAN’GONG REVISITED (1957) · · · 187
PRESENT DAY KAIXIAN’GONG (1981) · · 238
FINDINGS OF THE KAIXIAN’GONG VILLAGE RESEARCH GROUP (1981) ··············256
CHANGES IN PEASANT LIFE IN KAIXIAN'GONG DURING THE PASTFIFTY YEARS.. . . . . . 257
A LOOK AT KAIXIAN'GONG'S MARRIAGE AND FAMILY PROBLEMS. .. . . . . . . . . 300
FAMILY STRUCTURE AND MOTHER-IN-LAW-DAUGHTER-INLAW RELATIONS IN KAIXIAN'GONG. . . .316
INDEX· · ·· · · · 324
The major part of the present book comprises my research findings from field studies in Kaixian’gong Village on three different occasions, once in 1936, again in 1957, and once again in 1980. These three years happen to mark three distinct historical periods in modern Chinese history. The year 1936 came right on the eve of the War of Resistance Against Japan; 1957 was the first year after the completion of China’s socialist rural collectivization; and 1980 saw the initial success of the new economic policies adopted at the Third Plenum of the Eleventh Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in 1978, which had set to rights many things distorted during the “cultural revolution” (1966-76).
In a time of such political upheaval and social transformation as during the last fifty years in China, I can only consider myself fortunate to have been able to carry out systematic studies on a single village in different periods. These three visits, widely separated in time, have allowed me to personally witness and record the various stages of social transformation as reflected in the microcosm of Kaixian’gong. My intention in incorporating
my previous findings in one book is to present the historical context of the ongoing reforms so that the reader may better understand and appreciate their far-reaching significance.
By way of introduction, I would like to acquaint my readers with my original purpose in studying sociology and the circumstances under which I undertook these studies.
Why I Took up Sociology as a Profession My original ambition was to become a medical doctor. I had actually finished all the preparatory courses at Dongwu University for entrance to the Peking Union Medical College. But I changed my mind later and entered the Sociology
Department of Peking University instead. One may perhaps wonder why I did this.
Medicine is concerned about people’s health conditions rather than their social environment. A doctor would generally do no more than diagnose the patient’s illness and write out the appropriate prescription. He would not, nor should he, delve into questions concerning the patient’s livelihood and the various social factors that may have contributed to the illness. For me this was far from sufficient, considering social conditions at that
time. I was of the opinion that people’s diseases were attributable not only to viruses and germs, but even more to poverty, malnutrition and other social ills. Therefore the elimination of disease would be out of the question without first eliminating the causative social factors.
However, I had never even heard of sociology before I entered Peking University. But the introduction into this new science by Professor Xu Shilian, dean of the sociology department,
was so impressive that I decided on the spot to become his student.
1936年费孝通先生到家乡附近的吴江七都开弦弓村疗养，在村中的所见所闻称为他博士学位论文也是世界社会学经典之作《江村经济》（英文名：开弦弓村：中国农民的生活）的重要素材。《江村经济》 书描述了中国农民的消费、生产、分配和交易等体系，并江村的经济体系与特定地理环境的关系及其社会结构的关系。作者通过对 个小乡村的观察展现了20世纪30年代中国乡村在资本主义经济浪潮影响下所面临的变革。此后，费先生在1957年和1981年又两次到江村进行田野作业。1957年1981年对于中国农村都是具有历史意义的年份：1957年，农村合作化运动已至高超，参加合作社的农户已在96%以上，但在 些地区出现了农户推出合作社的现象。1981年，中央正是承认了争论30年的包产到户的合法性。费先生以 个社会学家敏感和洞察力，再次对当时江村的情况进行了记录。费先生评价如此评价对江村的调查：透过这个村子的小小窗口可以看到中国农村半个世纪以来的巨大变化。本书至今仍具有很高的史料和学术价值。
费孝通，中国著名社会学家、人类学家、民族学家、社会活动家，是中国社会学和人类学的奠基人之 ，也是 位具有世界影响力的社会学家和人类学家。为中国农民找 条出路，是他研述 生的大课题。他在导师著名英国人类学家马林诺夫斯基的指导下完成的博士学位论文《江村经济》被誉为“人类学实地调查和理论工作发展中的 个里程碑”，成为国际人类学界的经典之作。