Smashing the Iron Rice Bowl: Chinese East Asia

Image of China passenger wheelbarrows.

China. Passenger wheelbarrows. (Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. [reproduction number, LC-USZ62-113721 (b&w film copy neg.)])


MIT Course Number

21H.560 / 21F.191 / 21F.991

As Taught In

Fall 2004



Cite This Course

Course Features

Course Highlights

This course also features archived syllabi from various semesters.

Course Description

This subject examines the experiences of ordinary Chinese people as they lived through the tumultuous changes of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We look at personal narratives, primary sources, films alongside a textbook to think about how individual and family lives connect with the broader processes of change in modern China. In the readings and discussions, you should focus on how major political events have an impact on the characters' daily lives, and how the decisions they make cause large-scale social transformation.

Peter Perdue. 21H.560 Smashing the Iron Rice Bowl: Chinese East Asia, Fall 2004. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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