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Making space for reading : a study of rural reading rooms in Yunnan Province, PRC

Löfblad, Maria Ulrika LU (2017) ABMM54 20171
Division of ALM and Digital Cultures
Abstract
This thesis aims to explore the meanings behind rural reading rooms (tushushi) in Yunnan Province, PRC. Rural reading rooms are small libraries attached to the village Party compound in Chinese villages; for the past decade 600 000 reading rooms have been established in administrative villages in China, and now benefit more than 1 billion farmers in what is arguably the world’s most important developing nation. These reading rooms could potentially provide reading- and information spaces in villages where these have been lacking. They could be described as a major development project carried out by the state in an attempt to modernise rural regions. Reading rooms are part of the attempt to build what is
labelled “a new socialist... (More)
This thesis aims to explore the meanings behind rural reading rooms (tushushi) in Yunnan Province, PRC. Rural reading rooms are small libraries attached to the village Party compound in Chinese villages; for the past decade 600 000 reading rooms have been established in administrative villages in China, and now benefit more than 1 billion farmers in what is arguably the world’s most important developing nation. These reading rooms could potentially provide reading- and information spaces in villages where these have been lacking. They could be described as a major development project carried out by the state in an attempt to modernise rural regions. Reading rooms are part of the attempt to build what is
labelled “a new socialist countryside” in the PRC, a major national policy package designed to modernise rural regions that have been central to central state planning on rural regions since the 11th 5-year Plan was presented in 2006.This thesis aims to explore the relation between state policy and local reality in relation to reading rooms; to what extent are reading rooms part of local life, and how can we understand the functions of reading rooms? Are they just part of state
blueprints for rural regions or do they carry communal value?
The thesis is based on extensive fieldwork in Yunnan Province, and follows an ethnographic approach, where grounded theory has been used both during fieldwork and the writing process. Reading rooms have been positioned within governmentality theory as away of shedding light on the usage and meaning of educational spaces within villages; as state projects with ideological underpinnings that needs to be understood both in relation to the state, and local realities. (Less)
Popular Abstract
Explores the meaning of reading rooms in villages in Yunnan Province, China.
Reading rooms are small libraries aimed at farmers. The thesis describes reading rooms and their meaning, both at national and local level. It is an ethnographic account of village life, based on fieldwork in China.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
@misc{8910472,
  abstract     = {This thesis aims to explore the meanings behind rural reading rooms (tushushi) in Yunnan Province, PRC. Rural reading rooms are small libraries attached to the village Party compound in Chinese villages; for the past decade 600 000 reading rooms have been established in administrative villages in China, and now benefit more than 1 billion farmers in what is arguably the world’s most important developing nation. These reading rooms could potentially provide reading- and information spaces in villages where these have been lacking. They could be described as a major development project carried out by the state in an attempt to modernise rural regions. Reading rooms are part of the attempt to build what is
labelled “a new socialist countryside” in the PRC, a major national policy package designed to modernise rural regions that have been central to central state planning on rural regions since the 11th 5-year Plan was presented in 2006.This thesis aims to explore the relation between state policy and local reality in relation to reading rooms; to what extent are reading rooms part of local life, and how can we understand the functions of reading rooms? Are they just part of state
blueprints for rural regions or do they carry communal value?
The thesis is based on extensive fieldwork in Yunnan Province, and follows an ethnographic approach, where grounded theory has been used both during fieldwork and the writing process. Reading rooms have been positioned within governmentality theory as away of shedding light on the usage and meaning of educational spaces within villages; as state projects with ideological underpinnings that needs to be understood both in relation to the state, and local realities.},
  author       = {Löfblad, Maria Ulrika},
  keyword      = {ALM,Library- and Information Studies,reading rooms,the People’s Republic of China,Yunnan Province,rural areas,New Socialist Countryside,development,grounded theory,the General Administration for Press and Printing,village politics,policy implementation,guerrilla fieldwork,governmentality,Michel Foucault,spatial planning.},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Making space for reading : a study of rural reading rooms in Yunnan Province, PRC},
  year         = {2017},
}