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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 Decline of Public Life under Mao’s Rule

The Decline of Public Life under Mao’s Rule

(p.91) 3 The Decline of Public Life under Mao’s Rule
The Teahouse under Socialism

Di Wang

Cornell University Press

This chapter deals with the microcosm of the teahouse; it describes people’s daily lives in the period from the 1950s to the 1970s under the Communist government, including to what extent people conducted what I refer to as public lives, and to what extent politics and political movements interfered with that. It was the lowest point for teahouses and public life in Chengdu. The relevant places became politically sensitive, and patrons, workers, and those associated therewith might fear grave repercussions from even the most innocent conversation. However, teahouse life in some ways carried on outside the scope of government control. People continued to gossip and spread “rumors” just as they had for centuries. The teahouse seems to have provided a relief from everyday problems, and could remind people of former ways of life.

Keywords:   Teahouse life, Class struggle, Political movement, Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution

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