Little known in the West, kindly and thrifty soldier Lei Feng (1940-1962) was established as a Chinese national hero by Mao Tsedong in 1963. The Chinese curriculum has since exhorted even its youngest students to “Learn from Lei Feng!” This project, undertaken with Zhipeng Gao, first used oral history data to examine how Lei Feng is remembered by different cohorts in China. Subsequently, we have contrasted how scholars and ordinary Chinese speak about China's generations, asked how the "truth" or "authenticity" of the Lei Feng stories is taken up in China and North America, and discussed the varied conceptions of "thrift" throughout contemporary Chinese history.
[See project summary.]
Year Project Started:
York University, Graduate Program in Psychology
(e.g type 1000 for 1,000)