Through an analysis of Third Sister Liu, a popular musical of the early 1960s, this article illustrates how the Chinese Communist Party mobilized state and society to express disparaging ideas about the intellectual during the Great Leap Forward. The Chinese intellectual was not any specific social type, group, or individual, but a substrate upon which the party organized and promoted its vision and division of society. Official representations, organization, and the threat of punishment underpinned the party's efforts and produced local resistance toward the party's understanding of the intellectual. The author's analytical approach stresses the social work of construction that reproduced the intellectual as a major political subject, an official classification, and an embodied identity in socialist China. The analysis illuminates heretofore obscured dimensions of Communist Party rule and experiences of those affected by the classification.

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