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The Teahouse under SocialismThe Decline and Renewal of Public Life in Chengdu, 1950-2000$
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Di Wang

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781501715488

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501715488.001.0001

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The Demise of the Chengdu Teahouse Guild and the Fall of Small Business

The Demise of the Chengdu Teahouse Guild and the Fall of Small Business

(p.33) 1 The Demise of the Chengdu Teahouse Guild and the Fall of Small Business
The Teahouse under Socialism

Di Wang

Cornell University Press

This chapter explores the fate of local trade organizations in the early 1950s. By examining the transformation and demise of the existing, older Teahouse Guild in Chengdu, we see how the state could manipulate such organizations to achieve control of small businesses. Once the socialist agenda was put into motion and the state used the organizations to gain total control over all aspects of business, it greatly diminished their functioning as open public spaces, nearly destroying the latter aspect. The fate of the Teahouse Guild after 1949 was a reflection of the attempted elimination of an urbane and culture-filled “society” overall and the attendant public sphere. In the city, all organizations at all levels, from streets to danwei, became parts of the state administration and under the control of a new type of officialdom. During the early and middle 1950s, the CCP launched a collectivization movement through which most privately owned teahouses in Chengdu were forcibly brought under collective ownership.

Keywords:   Teahouse Guild, Socialist Transformation, Small Business, Three Antis and Five Antis Movements

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