Title

Dialogic struggle in the becoming of the cultural revolution : between elite conflict and mass mobilization

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Critical Historical Studies

Publication Date

Fall 2017

Volume

4

Article Number

2

First Page

209

Last Page

242

Publisher

University of Chicago Press

Abstract

This article addresses the becoming of contentious political events through the case of the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966). The conditional theory of structural causation and the rational choice conception of agency that have complemented each other in current scholarship have left missing links between elite conflict and mass mobilization. Examining the dialogic struggle among various actors involved in the process helps to overcome the teleological explanation of the rise of the Cultural Revolution and brings to light the politics of interpretation in constructing its meaning. The perspective shows ideological contradictions in the status quo ante to be important sources for change in an uncertain and destabilizing situation. The event thus did not result from the realization of actors’ fixed goals but was an emergent process of the disarticulation of structural contradictions, in which actors’ active appropriation and changing deployment of cultural repertoires were critical.

DOI

10.1086/693922

Print ISSN

23264462

E-ISSN

23264470

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2017 The University of Chicago. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Language

English

Recommended Citation

Xu, X. (2017). Dialogic struggle in the becoming of the cultural revolution: Between elite conflict and mass mobilization. Critical Historical Studies, 4(2), 209-242. doi: 10.1086/693922

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