China Urban is an ethnographic account of China’s cities and the place that urban space holds in China’s imagination. In addition to investigating this nation’s rapidly changing urban landscape, its contributors emphasize the need to rethink the very meaning of the “urban” and the utility of urban-focused anthropological critiques during a period of unprecedented change on local, regional, national, and global levels.
Through close attention to everyday lives and narratives and with a particular focus on gender, market, and spatial practices, this collection stresses that, in the case of China, rural life and the impact of socialism must be considered in order to fully comprehend the urban. Individual essays note the impact of legal barriers to geographic mobility in China, the proliferation of different urban centers, the different distribution of resources among various regions, and the pervasive appeal of the urban, both in terms of living in cities and in acquiring products and conventions signaling urbanity. Others focus on the direct sales industry, the Chinese rock music market, the discursive production of femininity and motherhood in urban hospitals, and the transformations in access to healthcare.
China Urban will interest anthropologists, sociologists, political scientists, and those studying urban planning, China, East Asia, and globalization.
Contributors. Tad Ballew, Susan Brownell, Nancy N. Chen, Constance D. Clark, Robert Efird, Suzanne Z. Gottschang, Ellen Hertz, Lisa Hoffman, Sandra Hyde, Lyn Jeffery, Lida Junghans, Louisa Schein, Li Zhang
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“China Urban brings together some of the best new ethnographic work on the changing dynamics of time, space, and place in 1990s China. These essays take the reader into a wide range of localities, but always with an eye turned toward larger national and global transformations. China Urban also speaks to a wide range of debates in contemporary social and political theory, and it offers an innovative approach to the study of the urban in postsocialist China and elswhere. This volume is long overdue.”—Ralph Litzinger, author of Other Chinas: The Yao and the Politics of National Belonging
“For readers interested in the intersections of space, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity, this book has a wealth of insights to ponder. And for those interested in the complexity, vibrancy, and challenges of today’s urban and urbanizing China, this book’s the ticket.”—Greg Guldin, author of What’s a Peasant to Do? Village Becoming Town in Southern ChinaFrom the Back Cover:
"For readers interested in the intersections of space, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity, this book has a wealth of insights to ponder. And for those interested in the complexity, vibrancy, and challenges of today's urban and urbanizing China, this book's the ticket."--Greg Guldin, author of "What's a Peasant to Do? Village Becoming Town in Southern China"
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