Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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(2,087 words)

Within the social hierarchy of traditional China peasants ranked second, right below the literati-officials (elites) and still above craftsmen and merchants. In the People's Republic, peasants have similarly received a positive rating as a revolutionary class. These official conceptions, however, stand in stark contrast to reality. While the peasants were at all times praised in ter…

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Christiansen, Flemming, “Peasants”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 30 November 2022 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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