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Other research product . 2011

Classifying citizens in nationalist China during World War II, 1937-1941

Rana Mitter;
English
Published: 01 Jan 2011
Country: United Kingdom
Abstract
This paper argues that the first phase of the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-1945 saw a significant change in the relationship between state and society in China, leading to a greater use of techniques of classification of the citizenry for purposes of welfare provision and mobilization through propaganda, methods until recently more associated with the Communists than with their Nationalist rivals. The paper draws on materials from Sichuan, the key province for wartime resistance, showing that the use of identity cards and welfare provision regulations were part of a process of integrating refugees from occupied China into the wider wartime society, and that propaganda campaigns were deployed to persuade the local indigenous population to support wartime state initiatives. Although Nationalist efforts to mobilize the population in wartime were flawed and partial, they marked a significant change in the conception of Chinese citizenship.
Subjects

History, Asia, History of Asia & Far East, Economic and Social History

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