The Anthropology of China

China as Ethnographic and Theoretical Critique

Author: Charlotte Bruckermann,Stephan Feuchtwang

Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Company

ISBN: 1783269855

Category: History

Page: 292

View: 1185

Putting China into the context of general anthropology offers novel insights into its history, culture and society. Studies in the anthropology of China need to look outwards, to other anthropological areas, while at the same time, anthropologists specialised elsewhere cannot afford to ignore contributions from China. This book introduces a number of key themes and in each case describes how the anthropology and ethnography of China relates to the surrounding theories and issues. The themes chosen include the anthropology of intimacy, of morality, of food and of feasting, as well as the anthropology of civilisation, modernity and the state. The Anthropology of China covers both long historical perspectives and ethnographies of the twenty-first century. For the first time, ethnographic perspectives on China are contextualised in comparison with general anthropological debates. Readers are invited to engage in and rethink China's place within the wider world, making it perfect for professional researchers and teachers of anthropology and Chinese history and society, and for advanced undergraduate and graduate study.

Communities of Complicity

Everyday Ethics in Rural China

Author: Hans Steinm

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 0857458914

Category: Social Science

Page: 290

View: 1221

Everyday life in contemporary rural China is characterized by an increased sense of moral challenge and uncertainty. Ordinary people often find themselves caught between the moral frameworks of capitalism, Maoism and the Chinese tradition. This ethnographic study of the village of Zhongba (in Hubei Province, central China) is an attempt to grasp the ethical reflexivity of everyday life in rural China. Drawing on descriptions of village life, interspersed with targeted theoretical analyses, the author examines how ordinary people construct their own senses of their lives and their futures in everyday activities: building houses, working, celebrating marriages and funerals, gambling and dealing with local government. The villagers confront moral uncertainty; they creatively harmonize public discourse and local practice; and sometimes they resolve incoherence and unease through the use of irony. In so doing, they perform everyday ethics and re-create transient moral communities at a time of massive social dislocation.

The Allure of Capitalism

An Ethnography of Management and the Global Economy in Crisis

Author: Emil A. Røyrvik

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 0857451863

Category: Political Science

Page: 284

View: 8564

The "managerial revolution," or the rise of management as a distinct and vital group in industrial society, might be identified as a major development of the modernization processes, similar to the scientific and industrial revolutions. Studying "transnational" or "global" corporate management at the post-millennium moment provides a suitable focal point from which to investigate globalized (post)modernity and capitalism especially, and as such this book offers an anthropology of global capitalism at its moment of crisis. This study provides ethnographically rich descriptions of managerial practices in a set of international corporate investment projects. Drawing also on historical and statistical data, it renders a comprehensive perspective on management, corporations, and capitalism in the late modern globalized economy. Cross-disciplinary in outlook, the book spans the fields of organization, business, and management, and asserts that now, in this period of financial crisis, is the time for anthropology to yet again engage with political economy.

A Landscape of Travel

The Work of Tourism in Rural Ethnic China

Author: Jenny T. Chio

Publisher: University of Washington Press

ISBN: 0295805064

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 7936

While the number of domestic leisure travelers has increased dramatically in reform-era China, the persistent gap between urban and rural living standards attests to ongoing social, economic, and political inequalities. The state has widely touted tourism for its potential to bring wealth and modernity to rural ethnic minority communities, but the policies underlying the development of tourism obscure some complicated realities. In tourism, after all, one person�s leisure is another person�s labor. A Landscape of Travel investigates the contested meanings and unintended consequences of tourism for those people whose lives and livelihoods are most at stake in China�s rural ethnic tourism industry: the residents of village destinations. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted in Ping�an (a Zhuang village in Guangxi) and Upper Jidao (a Miao village in Guizhou), Jenny Chio analyzes the myriad challenges and possibilities confronted by villagers who are called upon to do the work of tourism. She addresses the shifting significance of migration and rural mobility, the visual politics of tourist photography, and the effects of touristic desires for �exotic difference� on village social relations. In this way, Chio illuminates the contemporary regimes of labor and leisure and the changing imagination of what it means to be rural, ethnic, and modern in China today. More about the author: http://www.jennychio.com/

The Palgrave Handbook of Urban Ethnography

Author: Italo Pardo,Giuliana B. Prato

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319642898

Category: Social Science

Page: 575

View: 4311

These ethnographically-based studies of diverse urban experiences across the world present cutting edge research and stimulate an empirically-grounded theoretical reconceptualization. The essays identify ethnography as a powerful tool for making sense of life in our rapidly changing, complex cities. They stress the point that while there is no need to fetishize fieldwork—or to view it as an end in itself —its unique value cannot be overstated. These active, engaged researchers have produced essays that avoid abstractions and generalities while engaging with the analytical complexities of ethnographic evidence. Together, they prove the great value of knowledge produced by long-term fieldwork to mainstream academic debates and, more broadly, to society.

China Urban

Ethnographies of Contemporary Culture

Author: Nancy N. Chen,Constance D. Clark,Suzanne Z. Gottschang,Lyn Jeffery

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822381338

Category: Social Science

Page: 349

View: 5160

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

Schools and Styles of Anthropological Theory

Author: Matei Candea

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1315388243

Category: Social Science

Page: 258

View: 5249

This book presents an overview of important currents of thought in social and cultural anthropology, from the 19th century to the present. It introduces readers to the origins, context and continuing relevance of a fascinating and exciting kaleidoscope of ideas that have transformed the humanities and social sciences, and the way we understand ourselves and the societies we live in today. Each chapter provides a thorough yet engaging introduction to a particular theoretical school, style or conceptual issue. Together they build up to a detailed and comprehensive critical introduction to the most salient areas of the field. The introduction reflects on the substantive themes which tie the chapters together and on what the very notions of ‘theory’ and ‘theoretical school’ bring to our understanding of anthropology as a discipline. The book tracks a core lecture series given at Cambridge University and is essential reading for all undergraduate students undertaking a course on anthropological theory or the history of anthropological thought. It will also be useful more broadly for students of social and cultural anthropology, sociology, human geography and cognate disciplines in the social sciences and humanities.

After the Event

The Transmission of Grievous Loss in Germany, China and Taiwan

Author: Stephan Feuchtwang

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 0857450875

Category: Social Science

Page: 246

View: 6360

Two of the most destructive moments of state violence in the twentieth century occurred in Europe between 1933 and 1945 and in China between 1959 and 1961 (the Great Leap famine). This is the first book to bring the two histories together in order to examine their differences and to understand if there are any similar processes of transmission at work. The author expertly ties in the Taiwanese civil war between Nationalists and Communists, which included the White Terror from 1947 to 1987, a less well-known but equally revealing part of twentieth-century history. Personal and family stories are told, often in the individual's own words, and then compared with the public accounts of the same events as found in official histories, commemorations, school textbooks and other forms of public memory. The author presents innovative and constructive criticisms of social memory theories in order to make sense both of what happened and how what happened is transmitted.

Who are 'We'?

Reimagining Alterity and Affinity in Anthropology

Author: Liana Chua,Nayanika Mathur

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 1785338897

Category: Social Science

Page: 264

View: 8804

Who do “we” anthropologists think “we” are? And how do forms and notions of collective disciplinary identity shape the way we think, write, and do anthropology? This volume explores how the anthropological “we” has been construed, transformed, and deployed across history and the global anthropological landscape. Drawing together both reflections and ethnographic case studies, it interrogates the critical—yet poorly studied—roles played by myriad anthropological “we” ss in generating and influencing anthropological theory, method, and analysis. In the process, new spaces are opened for reimagining who “we” are – and what “we,” and indeed anthropology, could become.

The Making of Anthropology in East and Southeast Asia

Author: Shinji Yamashita,Joseph Bosco,Jeremy Seymour Eades

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 9781571812599

Category: Social Science

Page: 374

View: 895

In a path-breaking series of essays the contributors to this collection explore the development of anthropological research in Asia. The volume includes writings on Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Time and the Field

Author: Steffen Dalsgaard,Morten Nielsen

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 1785330888

Category: Social Science

Page: 166

View: 3396

In recent years, ethnographic fieldwork has been subjected to analytical scrutiny in anthropology. Ethnography remains anchored in tropes of spatiality with the association between field and fieldworker characterized by distances in space. With updates on the discussion of contemporary requirements to ethnographic research practice, Time and the Field rethinks the notion of the field in terms of time rather than space. Such an approach not only implies a particular attention to the methodology of studying local (social and ontological) imaginaries of time, but furthermore destabilitizes the relationship between fieldworker and fieldsite, allowing it to emerge as a dynamic and ever-shifting constellation.

The Lives of Chinese Objects

Buddhism, Imperialism and Display

Author: Louise Tythacott

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 0857452398

Category: Art

Page: 288

View: 344

This is the biography of a set of rare Buddhist statues from China. Their extraordinary adventures take them from the Buddhist temples of fifteenth-century Putuo – China's most important pilgrimage island – to their seizure by a British soldier in the First Opium War in the early 1840s, and on to a starring role in the Great Exhibition of 1851. In the 1850s, they moved in and out of dealers' and antiquarian collections, arriving in 1867 at Liverpool Museum. Here they were re-conceptualized as specimens of the 'Mongolian race' and, later, as examples of Oriental art. The statues escaped the bombing of the Museum during the Second World War and lived out their existence for the next sixty years, dismembered, corroding and neglected in the stores, their histories lost and origins unknown. As the curator of Asian collections at Liverpool Museum, the author became fascinated by these bronzes, and selected them for display in the Buddhism section of the World Cultures gallery. In 2005, quite by chance, the discovery of a lithograph of the figures on prominent display in the Great Exhibition enabled the remarkable lives of these statues to be reconstructed.

In Search of Paradise

Middle-class Living in a Chinese Metropolis

Author: Li Zhang

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801458196

Category: Social Science

Page: 272

View: 2083

A new revolution in homeownership and living has been sweeping the booming cities of China. This time the main actors on the social stage are not peasants, migrants, or working-class proletariats but middle-class professionals and entrepreneurs in search of a private paradise in a society now dominated by consumerism. No longer seeking happiness and fulfillment through collective sacrifice and socialist ideals, they hope to find material comfort and social distinction in newly constructed gated communities. This quest for the good life is profoundly transforming the physical and social landscapes of urban China. Li Zhang, who is from Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, turns a keen ethnographic eye on her hometown. She combines her analysis of larger political and social issues with fine-grained details about the profound spatial, cultural, and political effects of the shift in the way Chinese urban residents live their lives and think about themselves. In Search of Paradise is a deeply informed account of how the rise of private homeownership is reconfiguring urban space, class subjects, gender selfhood, and ways of life in the reform era. New, seemingly individualistic lifestyles mark a dramatic move away from yearning for a social utopia under Maoist socialism. Yet the privatization of property and urban living have engendered a simultaneous movement of public engagement among homeowners as they confront the encroaching power of the developers. This double movement of privatized living and public sphere activism, Zhang finds, is a distinctive feature of the cultural politics of the middle classes in contemporary China. Theoretically sophisticated and highly accessible, Zhang's account will appeal not only to those interested in China but also to anyone interested in spatial politics, middle-class culture, and postsocialist governing in a globalizing world.

Anthropology and the Economy of Sharing

Author: Thomas Widlok

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 131736970X

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 218

View: 5091

This book examines the economy of sharing in a variety of social and political contexts around the world, with consideration given to the role of sharing in relation to social order and social change, political power, group formation, individual networks and concepts of personhood. Widlok advocates a refreshingly broad comparative approach to our understanding of sharing, with a rich range of material from hunter-gatherer ethnography alongside debates and empirical illustrations from globalized society, helping students to avoid Western economic bias in their thinking. Anthropology and the Economy of Sharing also demonstrates that sharing is distinct from gift-giving, exchange and reciprocity, which have become dominant themes in economic anthropology, and suggests that a new focus on sharing will have significant repercussions for anthropological theory. Breaking new ground in this key topic, this volume provides students with a coherent and accessible overview of the economy of sharing from an anthropological perspective.

Other Chinas

The Yao and the Politics of National Belonging

Author: Ralph A. Litzinger

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 9780822325499

Category: History

Page: 331

View: 5452

An ethnographic study of how ethnic minorities negotiate Chinese nationalism in post-Mao China.

Other-Worldly

Making Chinese Medicine through Transnational Frames

Author: Mei Zhan

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822392135

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 7140

Traditional Chinese medicine is often portrayed as an enduring system of therapeutic knowledge that has become globalized in recent decades. In Other-Worldly, Mei Zhan argues that the discourses and practices called “traditional Chinese medicine” are made through, rather than prior to, translocal encounters and entanglements. Zhan spent a decade following practitioners, teachers, and advocates of Chinese medicine through clinics, hospitals, schools, and grassroots organizations in Shanghai and the San Francisco Bay Area. Drawing on that ethnographic research, she demonstrates that the everyday practice of Chinese medicine is about much more than writing herbal prescriptions and inserting acupuncture needles. “Traditional Chinese medicine” is also made and remade through efforts to create a preventive medicine for the “proletariat world,” reinvent it for cosmopolitan middle-class aspirations, produce clinical “miracles,” translate knowledge and authority, and negotiate marketing strategies and medical ethics. Whether discussing the presentation of Chinese medicine at a health fair sponsored by a Silicon Valley corporation, or how the inclusion of a traditional Chinese medicine clinic authenticates the “California” appeal of an upscale residential neighborhood in Shanghai, Zhan emphasizes that unexpected encounters and interactions are not anomalies in the structure of Chinese medicine. Instead, they are constitutive of its irreducibly complex and open-ended worlds. Zhan proposes an ethnography of “worlding” as an analytic for engaging and illuminating emergent cultural processes such as those she describes. Rather than taking “cultural difference” as the starting point for anthropological inquiries, this analytic reveals how various terms of difference—for example, “traditional,” “Chinese,” and “medicine”—are invented, negotiated, and deployed translocally. Other-Worldly is a theoretically innovative and ethnographically rich account of the worlding of Chinese medicine.

Ordinary Ethics in China

Author: Charles Stafford

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 0857858106

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 7300

Drawing on a wide range of anthropological case studies, this book focuses on ordinary ethics in contemporary China. The book examines the kinds of moral and ethical issues that emerge (sometimes almost unnoticed) in the flow of everyday life in Chinese communities. How are schoolchildren judged to be good or bad by their teachers and their peers - and how should a 'bad' student be dealt with? What exactly do children owe their parents, and how should this debt be repaid? Is it morally acceptable to be jealous if one's neighbours suddenly become rich? Should the wrongs of the past be forgotten, e.g. in the interests of communal harmony, or should they be dealt with now? In the case of China, such questions have obviously been shaped by the historical contexts against which they have been posed, and by the weight of various Chinese traditions. But this book approaches them on a human scale. More specifically, it approaches them from an anthropological perspective, based on participation in the flow of everyday life during ethnographic fieldwork in Chinese communities.

Anxious Wealth

Money and Morality Among China's New Rich

Author: John Osburg

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 080478535X

Category: Social Science

Page: 248

View: 3194

Who exactly are China's new rich? This pioneering investigation introduces readers to the private lives—and the nightlives—of the powerful entrepreneurs and managers redefining success and status in the city of Chengdu. Over the course of more than three years, anthropologist John Osburg accompanied, and in some instances assisted, wealthy Chinese businessmen as they courted clients, partners, and government officials. Drawing on his immersive experiences, Osburg invites readers to join him as he journeys through the new, highly gendered entertainment sites for Chinese businessmen, including karaoke clubs, saunas, and massage parlors—places specifically designed to cater to the desires and enjoyment of elite men. Within these spaces, a masculinization of business is taking place. Osburg details the complex code of behavior that governs businessmen as they go about banqueting, drinking, gambling, bribing, exchanging gifts, and obtaining sexual services. These intricate social networks play a key role in generating business, performing social status, and reconfiguring gender roles. But many entrepreneurs feel trapped by their obligations and moral compromises in this evolving environment. Ultimately, Osburg examines their deep ambivalence about China's future and their own complicity in the major issues of post-Mao Chinese society—corruption, inequality, materialism, and loss of trust.

The Anthropology of Christianity

Author: Fenella Cannell

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822388154

Category: Social Science

Page: 384

View: 8356

This collection provides vivid ethnographic explorations of particular, local Christianities as they are experienced by different groups around the world. At the same time, the contributors, all anthropologists, rethink the vexed relationship between anthropology and Christianity. As Fenella Cannell contends in her powerful introduction, Christianity is the critical “repressed” of anthropology. To a great extent, anthropology first defined itself as a rational, empirically based enterprise quite different from theology. The theology it repudiated was, for the most part, Christian. Cannell asserts that anthropological theory carries within it ideas profoundly shaped by this rejection. Because of this, anthropology has been less successful in considering Christianity as an ethnographic object than it has in considering other religions. This collection is designed to advance a more subtle and less self-limiting anthropological study of Christianity. The contributors examine the contours of Christianity among diverse groups: Catholics in India, the Philippines, and Bolivia, and Seventh-Day Adventists in Madagascar; the Swedish branch of Word of Life, a charismatic church based in the United States; and Protestants in Amazonia, Melanesia, and Indonesia. Highlighting the wide variation in what it means to be Christian, the contributors reveal vastly different understandings and valuations of conversion, orthodoxy, Scripture, the inspired word, ritual, gifts, and the concept of heaven. In the process they bring to light how local Christian practices and beliefs are affected by encounters with colonialism and modernity, by the opposition between Catholicism and Protestantism, and by the proximity of other religions and belief systems. Together the contributors show that it not sufficient for anthropologists to assume that they know in advance what the Christian experience is; each local variation must be encountered on its own terms. Contributors. Cecilia Busby, Fenella Cannell, Simon Coleman, Peter Gow, Olivia Harris, Webb Keane, Eva Keller, David Mosse, Danilyn Rutherford, Christina Toren, Harvey Whitehouse

Anthropologies of Education

A Global Guide to Ethnographic Studies of Learning and Schooling

Author: Kathryn M. Anderson-Levitt

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 0857452746

Category: Social Science

Page: 362

View: 9883

Despite international congresses and international journals, anthropologies of education differ significantly around the world. Linguistic barriers constrain the flow of ideas, which results in a vast amount of research on educational anthropology that is not published in English or is difficult for international readers to find. This volume responds to the call to attend to educational research outside the United States and to break out of "metropolitan provincialism." A guide to the anthropologies and ethnographies of learning and schooling published in German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Slavic languages, Japanese, and English as a second language, show how scholars in Latin America, Japan, and elsewhere adapt European, American, and other approaches to create new traditions. As the contributors show, educators draw on different foundational research and different theoretical discussions. Thus, this global survey raises new questions and casts a new light on what has become a too-familiar discipline in the United States.