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"Red Revolution, Green Revolution"Scientific Farming in Socialist China$
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Sigrid Schmalzer

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226330150

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226330297.001.0001

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Agricultural Science and the Socialist State

Agricultural Science and the Socialist State

(p.27) 1 Agricultural Science and the Socialist State
"Red Revolution, Green Revolution"

Sigrid Schmalzer

University of Chicago Press

The dominant historical narrative of science in the People's Republic of China charts a pendulum-like alternation between "radical," anti-science periods and "moderate," pro-science periods. This chapter moves away from that narrative to focus on a set of questions that promote a fuller understanding of the political significance of agricultural science for the state, and the significance of the state in agricultural science. Agricultural science, and specifically the philosophy and practice of agricultural extension, had a deep historical relationship with state policy and ideology. The central tensions found in agricultural science policy resonated with the broader tensions of the socialist Chinese state as its leaders strove to resolve dilemmas related both to internal political and economic conditions and to the geopolitical contexts of colonialism and the Cold War. These tensions are found in the "point-to-plane" system of policy experimentation and implementation, the tu/yang binary that informed Mao-era politics of science, the emergence of the rural scientific experiment movement from the priorities of both radical and moderate state leaders, and the "three-in-one" epistemology that dominated state writings on agricultural science at the grassroots.

Keywords:   China, state, ideology, agricultural extension, agricultural science, policy, point-to-plane system, scientific experiment movement, tu yang binary, three-in-one epistemology

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