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Abstract

The 1950 land reform was not only the first nationwide economic campaign but also the large-scale political campaign for academic intellectuals and university students in 1950. In this thesis, the intellectuals (zhishi fenzi) are the academic intellectuals(scholars) in the university, who had no political/party preference, and intellectual youths (zhishi qingnian) that I want to study are the university students who entered the university in 1948 and 1949. Many academic intellectuals and university students followed the announcement from the central government to participate in this campaign to understand the rural poverty, issues, and their disconnection with Chinese reality. Throughout this process, as the significant performers of the land reform, they transformed their petty-bourgeoise mindsets, lived, and worked with poor peasants, and learned the class struggle. This thesis will explore the academic intellectual and university students’ participation in the land reform to understand how they learned the class struggle in rural China. The academic intellectuals and university students had different motivations in participating in the land reform. Moreover, they would encounter different problems in the land reform that would refresh or even challenge what they learned from the political study session before the land reform.

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