Parutions (2017-2023) |

Parutions 2019

Minjian: the Rise of China’s Grassroots Intellectuals

Minjian: the Rise of China’s Grassroots Intellectuals

Sebastian Veg
New-York, Columbia University Press, 2019,  368 p.
Prix : 65$

Who are the new Chinese intellectuals? In the wake of the crackdown on the 1989 democracy movement and the rapid marketization of the 1990s, a novel type of grassroots intellectual emerged. Instead of harking back to the traditional role of the literati or pronouncing on democracy and modernity like 1980s public intellectuals, they derive legitimacy from their work with the vulnerable and the marginalized, often proclaiming their independence with a heavy dose of anti-elitist rhetoric. They are proudly minjian - unofficial, unaffiliated, and among the people.

In this book, Sebastian Veg explores the rise of minjian intellectuals and how they have profoundly transformed China’s public culture. An intellectual history of contemporary China, Minjian documents how, amid deep structural shifts, grassroots thinker-activists began to work outside academia or policy institutions in an embryonic public sphere. Veg explores the work of amateur historians who question official accounts, independent documentarians who let ordinary people speak for themselves, and grassroots lawyers and NGO workers who spread practical knowledge. Their interventions are specific rather than universal, with a focus on concrete problems among disenfranchised populations such as victims of Maoism, migrant workers and others without residence permits, and petitioners. Drawing on careful analysis of public texts by grassroots intellectuals and the networks and publics among which they circulate, Minjian is a groundbreaking transdisciplinary exploration of crucial trends developing under the surface of contemporary Chinese society.

1. Grassroots Intellectuals: Theoretical and Historical Perspectives
2. Wang Xiaobo and the Silent Majority: Redefining the Role of Intellectuals After Tiananmen
3. Minjian Historians of the Mao Era: Commemorating, Documenting, Debating
4. Investigating and Transforming Society from the Margins: The Rise and Fall of Independent Cinema
5. Professionals at the Grassroots: Rights Lawyers, Academics, and Petitioners
6. Journalists, Bloggers, and a New Public Culture
Appendix: Minibiographies of Thirty Minjian Intellectuals

ISBN : 978-0231191401
Fiche éditeur :

Pour citer ce document

, «Minjian: the Rise of China’s Grassroots Intellectuals», CRH [En ligne], Parutions 2019, Parutions (2017-2023), Actualités (2017-2023),mis à jour le : 07/05/2019
,URL :

flux rss  Actualités

Architecture, aluminium et patrimoine XXe-XXIe siècles.

Colloque - Lundi 23 octobre 2023 - 09:15PrésentationLe projet ANR « Architecture, aluminium et patrimoine XXe-XXIe siècles » a développé depuis 4 ans des recherches sur l’histoire de l’aluminium dans l’architecture, sa patrimonialisation et sa conservation.L’histoire de l’aluminium et ses alliag (...)(...)

Lire la suite

Économie politique des missions en Amérique autochtone

Journée(s) d'étude - Mercredi 11 octobre 2023 - 09:30Cette journée d'étude est organisée par Olivier Allard (EHESS-LAS) et Mickaël Orantin (EHESS, CRH-GEI), dans le cadre de l'Atelier Condorcet « Économie politique de l'Amérique indigène ».La colonisation des Amériques s’est accompagnée d’une sé (...)(...)

Lire la suite

Le temps de la justice. Époques moderne et contemporaine, Europe et Amériques

Colloque - Mardi 24 octobre 2023 - 09:30Les recherches récentes en sociologie ont souligné combien le temps est devenu un enjeu central du fonctionnement et de la légitimité de l’institution judiciaire. Cependant, le temps de la justice a été peu étudié en lui-même par les historien·nes. Ce col (...)(...)

Lire la suite

Plus d'actualités

CRH (UMR 8558)

54, boulevard Raspail
75006 Paris
Tél. : +33 (0)1 49 54 24 42

Direction du CRH :

Raphaël Morera
Dinah Ribard

Dernière modification :