Examining the importance of regional differences in China's history, this text details the social, economic and political conditions of the central highlands at the end of the 19th century, and the early part of the 20th. Thus the nature and development of modern Chinese rural society is studied.
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This work presents the most recent data on poverty, family structure and participation in welfare programmes. It analyses the causes for the continuing rise in female-headed households, the high rates of poverty among such families, and evaluates past, present and future reform policies.
Jerome Chen is Professor Emeritus of East Asian History, York University, Toronto.