Popular China / Edition 1

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Overview

Using ingenious research methods, the contributors to this book explore the search for meaning among ordinary people in China today. The subjects of these vivid essays span the social spectrum from hip young entrepreneurs to sweatshop workers and homeless beggars. The issues are equally diverse, ranging from domestic violence to homosexuality to political corruption. The culture of popular China emerges as a mixture of exhilarating new aspirations—as seen in the basketball fans who dream of "flying" like Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant; rueful cynicism—as bitingly conveyed in the many satirical jingles that circulate by word of mouth; and painful ambivalence. The people depicted here have built their popular culture out of ideas and symbolic practices drawn from old cultural traditions, from concepts about modernity debated during the early twentieth-century republican era, from the legacies of Maoist socialism, and from contemporary global culture. Throughout, the book shows how economic and social changes caused by globalization, in combination with the continuing Party dictatorship, have presented ordinary Chinese with a new array of moral and cultural challenges that they have met in ways that have changed the face of China.

Contributions by: Julia F. Andrews, Anita Chan, Deborah S. Davis, Leila Fernández-Stembridge, Robert Geyer, Amy Hanser, Richard Levy, Perry Link, Richard P. Madsen, Andrew Morris, Paul G. Pickowicz, Kuiyi Shen, Liping Wang, Li Zhang, Yuezhi Zhao, and Kate Zhou.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Every chapter is well-written and accessible to a wide range of readers, providing a complex and multifaceted view of how social and economic changes have affected the lives of ordinary Chinese. Highly recommended for all levels.
Journal of Asian Studies
This is a well-written, informative, and inspirational volume, highly recommended to students of contemporary Chinese history, politics, and cultural studies.
Asian Affairs
Suitable for the graduate student but is also written in a style that would interest anyone with a serious interest in China.
The China Journal
Ought to be read by anyone interested in the evolution of Chinese society, and it is indispensable for students who want to understand the social changes wrought by the economic reforms.
China Quarterly
It is creative, valuable scholarship that debunks stereotype and opens the way for further inquiry, which is precisely what we have come to expect from the editors.
CHOICE
Every chapter is well-written and accessible to a wide range of readers, providing a complex and multifaceted view of how social and economic changes have affected the lives of ordinary Chinese. Highly recommended for all levels.
Journal Of Asian Studies
This is a well-written, informative, and inspirational volume, highly recommended to students of contemporary Chinese history, politics, and cultural studies.
Stanley Rosen
This is one of those rare books that will be of value both to beginning undergraduates and specialists on China. It provides an excellent corrective for those whose image of China remains fixated on the 'Beijing Spring' of 1989 or whose knowledge of China is limited to elite politics or the highly visible modernization of the largest coastal cities. In demonstrating how the impact of globalization has contributed to momentous cultural changes, the authors have given us a living, breathing China of real people, fashioning strategies to survive and prosper in a society that has become enormously diverse.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742510791
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.07 (w) x 9.07 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Perry Link is professor of East Asian studies at Princeton University. Richard P. Madsen is professor of sociology at the University of California, San Diego. Paul G. Pickowicz is professor of history at the University of California, San Diego.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: "I Believe You Can Fly": Basketball Culture in Postsocialist China
Chapter 2: Corruption in Popular Culture
Chapter 3: Village Voices, Urban Activists: Women, Violence, and Gender Inequality in Rural China
Chapter 4: Shunkouliu: Popular Satirical Sayings and Popular Thought
Chapter 5: The Rich, the Laid-off, and the Criminal in Tabloid Tales: Read All About Them!
Chapter 6: The New Chinese Woman and Lifestyle Magazines in the Late 1990s
Chapter 7: The Culture of Survival: Lives of Migrant Workers through the Prism of Private Letters
Chapter 8: The Chinese Enterprising Self: Young, Educated Urbanites and the Search for Work
Chapter 9: Beggars in the Socialist Market Economy
Chapter 10: When a House Becomes His Home
Chapter 11: In Love and Gay
Chapter 12: Urban Experiences and Social Belonging among Chinese Rural Migrants
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