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Redemption and RevolutionAmerican and Chinese New Women in the Early Twentieth Century$
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Motoe Sasaki

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451393

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451393.001.0001

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Divergent Paths of Historical Progress

Divergent Paths of Historical Progress

(p.133) Chapter 5 Divergent Paths of Historical Progress
Redemption and Revolution

Motoe Sasaki

Cornell University Press

During the late 1920s and early 1930s, American New Women became more aware of the widening psychological gap between them and their Chinese counterparts. This chapter explores the transformation that occurred among these women regarding their understanding of historical progress, perceptions of their country, and ideas about their own role in China. It was also during this same period, one of national revolution, that the Great Depression exposed the failure of the capitalist economic system (strongly associated with the United States) to the entire world and triggered a change in American New Women missionaries' views toward the place their country occupied in the historical progress of the world. As a result, Chinese xin nüxing began turning their interest away from becoming like American New Women missionaries—urban middle-class professionals. Instead, they became increasingly sympathetic to the plight of the poor, especially those in the countryside, and to the idea of socialism.

Keywords:   American New Women, Chinese women, missionaries, Great Depression, xin nüxing, socialism, China

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