The theory and policies identified with the Chinese revolutionary communist leader Mao Zedong (1893-1976). Mao's relationship to Marxism is disputed, since many commentators deny either that he made any novel contributions to social theory, or that his writings were distinctively Marxist. He is principally associated with an heretical theory of socialist revolution (see rebellion, revolution ) which accords primacy to the role of the revolutionary peasantry - hardly surprisingly, given the economically backward circumstances of China in the 1920s, when Mao set out on his political career. Although Marxists continue to dispute vigorously both his relationship to Soviet Marxism, and the practical consequences of his policies on Chinese economic development (especially the effects of the notorious’Cultural Revolution’ of 1966-7), his significance for sociology is limited by the impenetrability of much of his philosophical (as opposed to his political and strategic) writing-a weakness exemplified, for example, in his essays’On Practice’ and ‘On Contradiction’ (1937).
At various times during the Cold War period, neo-Marxist sociologists turned to Maoist China in the hope of finding a socialist state that was less wedded to doctrinaire Marxism than was the Soviet Union, and as a result there are several excellent (though somewhat idealized) ethnographies of life in Maoist China that have achieved almost classic status (including J. Myrdal's Report From a Chinese Village, 1965, and China: The Revolution Continued, 1970; and W. Hinton's Fanshen, 1966). However, students would be well advised to balance these with a reading of a more sceptical account, such as Zhang Xinxin and Sang Ye's oral history of contemporary China (Chinese Lives, 1986).

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

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  • Maoism — prop. n. A form of communism developed in China by Mao Zedong. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Maoism — ► NOUN ▪ the communist doctrines of Mao Zedong (1893 1976), Chinese head of state 1949 59, as formerly practised in China. DERIVATIVES Maoist noun & adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • Maoism — [mou′iz΄əm] n. the communist theories and policies of Mao Tse tung Maoist adj., n …   English World dictionary

  • Maoism — Part of the Politics series on Maoism …   Wikipedia

  • Maoism — Maoist, n., adj. /mow iz euhm/, n. the political, social, economic, and military theories and policies advocated by Mao Zedong, as those concerning revolutionary movements and guerrilla warfare. [1950 55; MAO (ZEDONG) + ISM] * * * Variation of… …   Universalium

  • Maoism — Named after the Chinese revolution ary and leader Mao Tse Tung (or Zedong, 1893–1976), Maoism is the transposition of the theory and practice of Marxism to apply to the conditions not of the urban proletariat, but of the Chinese peasantry. In… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Maoism —    The unofficial term for Maothought or the ideas and politics of Mao Zedong. The principal themes are an emphasis on voluntarism, dialectical philosophy especially the theme of contradictions, a class analysis that focuses on the attitudinal… …   Historical dictionary of Marxism

  • Maoism — noun Date: 1950 the theory and practice of Marxism Leninism developed in China chiefly by Mao Zedong • Maoist noun or adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Maoism — noun a) The philosophy espoused by of the . b) The act or state of living in accord with the philosophy of Chairman Mao Zedong …   Wiktionary

  • Maoism — Synonyms and related words: Bolshevikism, Bolshevism, Carbonarism, Castroism, Communist Information Bureau, Communist Party, Jacobinism, Marxian socialism, Marxism, Marxism Leninism, Sinn Feinism, Stalinism, Titoism, Trotskyism, anarchism,… …   Moby Thesaurus

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