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Privatizing China


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Privatizing China: Powers of the Self, Socialism from Afar by Aihwa Ong and Li Zhang PART I. POWERS OF PROPERTY Emerging Class Practices 1. Private Homes, Distinct Lifestyles: Performing a New Middle Class by Li Zhang 2. Property Rights and Homeowner Activism in New Neighborhoods by Benjamin L. Read Accumulating Land and Money 3. Socialist Land Masters: The Territorial Politics of Accumulation by You-tien Hsing 4. Tax Tensions: Struggles over Income and Revenue by Bei Li and Steven M. Sheffrin Negotiating Neoliberal Values 5. "Reorganized Moralism": The Politics of Transnational Labor Codes by Pun Ngai 6. Neoliberalism and Hmong/Miao Transnational Media Ventures by Louisa Schein PART II.POWERS OF THE SELF Taking Care of One's Health 7. Consuming Medicine and Biotechnology in China by Nancy N. Chen 8. Should I Quit?: Tobacco, Fraught Identity, and the Risks of Governmentality by Matthew Kohrman 9.Wild Consumption: Relocating Responsibilities in the Time of SARS by Mei Zhan Managing the Professional Self 10. Post-Mao Professionalism: Self-enterprise and Patriotism by Lisa M. Hoffman 11. Self-fashioning Shanghainese: Dancing across Spheres of Value by Aihwa Ong Search for the Self in New Publics 12. Living Buddhas, Netizens, and the Price of Religious Freedom by Dan Smyer Yu 13. Privatizing Control: Internet Cafes in China by Zhou Yongming Afterword: Thinking Outside the Leninist Corporate Box by Ralph A. Litzinger Notes Contributors Index

About the Author

Li Zhang is Department Chair and Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of Strangers in the City: Reconfigurations of Space, Power, and Social Networks within China's Floating Population and In Search of Paradise: Middle Class Living in a Chinese Metropolis, and is the coeditor (with Aihwa Ong) of Privatizing China, Socialism from Afar. Aihwa Ong is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley.


"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 "Privatizing China is an important book that deserves a close reading by all scholars interested in postsocialist societies and/or twenty-first-century socialisms. Contributors explore China's headlong plunge into the privatization of housing, urban land, labor, consumption practices, health care, and new media. This is anthropology at its very best."-James L. Watson, Fairbank Professor of Chinese Society and Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University

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