Everyday life in China is increasingly shaped by a novel mix of neoliberal and socialist elements, of individual choices and state objectives. This combination of self-determination and socialism from afar has incited profound changes in the ways individuals think and act in different spheres of society.
Covering a vast range of daily life-from homeowner organizations and the users of Internet cafes to self-directed professionals and informed consumers-the essays in Privatizing China create a compelling picture of the burgeoning awareness of self-governing within the postsocialist context. The introduction by Aihwa Ong and Li Zhang presents assemblage as a concept for studying China as a unique postsocialist society created through interactions with global forms.
The authors conduct their ethnographic fieldwork in a spectrum of domains-family, community, real estate, business, taxation, politics, labor, health, professions, religion, and consumption-that are infiltrated by new techniques of the self and yet also regulated by broader socialist norms. Privatizing China gives readers a grounded, fine-grained intimacy with the variety and complexity of everyday conduct in China's turbulent transformation.
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Number of pages: 296
Weight: 425 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 16 mm
"Privatizing China is an outstanding contribution to the literature on the extraordinary changes taking place in China today. Its authors analyze fresh evidence through new and compelling frameworks that capture the often contradictory but always fascinating 'assemblages' that constitute Chinese social, economic, cultural, and political life. All of the essays adopt a mode of presentation and argumentation that moves back and forth between theoretical commentary and ethnographic description; all are clearly written, highly accessible, moving, and evocative in their storytelling."-- Susan Greenhalgh, University of California, Irvine