Collective Killings during the Cultural Revolution:
State-Policy Models Revisited

by Yang Su
April 12, 2010

In many rural communities during the Chinese Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, mass campaign escalated into events of extreme violence. Victims included women, children and elderly indentified by blood relations. Using a local archival source known as xianzhi, or County Gazetteers, this study charts the social and political geography of the killings in two southern provinces. The Chinese case will shed light on theoretical models common in the literature on genocide and mass killing.

Yang SU is Associate Professor of Sociology at University of California, Irvine. He is author of Mao’s Willing Communities: Collective Killings in Rural China during the Cultural Revolution

(Cambridge University Press, In Press). He has also published collaborative work on social protest at American Sociological Review, Mobilization, and China Quarterly. His latest research papers on contemporary protests in China will appear in Journal of Asian Studies and Law and Society Review. He received his Ph.D. degree from Stanford University in 2003.

Dr. Rachel Einwohner, Associate Professor of Sociology at Purdue University responded to Dr. Su’s talk.