Empire and Local Worlds : A Chinese Model for Long-Term Historical Anthropology book cover
1st Edition

Empire and Local Worlds
A Chinese Model for Long-Term Historical Anthropology

ISBN 9781598744057
Published June 15, 2009 by Routledge
344 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $49.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Mingming Wang, one of the most prolific anthropologists in China, has produced a work both of long-term historical anthropology and of broad social theory. In it, he traces almost a millennium of history of the southern Chinese city of Quangzhou, a major international trading entrepot in the 13th century that declined to a peripheral regional center by the end of the 19th century. But the historical trajectory understates the complex set of interrelationships between local structures and imperial agendas that played out over the course of centuries and dynasties. Using urban structure, documentary analysis, and archaeological artifacts, Wang shows how the study of Quangzhou represents a Chinese template for civilizational studies, one distinctly different from Eurocentric models propounded by such theorists as Sahlins, Wolf, and Elias.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 2 The Carp: Empire and the Culture of Commerce, 712–1368 3 Casting the Net: Pu and the Foundations of Local Control, 960–1400 4 Pujing and the "Civilizing Process" of the Ming, 1368–1520 5 Heaven on Earth: Pujing and Worship Platforms 6 Local Worlds on the Margin, 1400–1644 7 Unorthodox Cults and the Expulsion of Demons, 1500–1644 8 "Congregations of the Gods," Rule of Division, 1644–1720 9 Pujing Feuds, 1720–1839 10 The Ceremonial Redemption, 1840–1896 11 Conclusion

View More



Mingming Wang is Professor of Anthropology at Peking University. He is also director of the National Center for Anthropological and Ethnological Inquiries located at Central Minzu University in Beijing and chief editor of Chinese Review of Anthropology. He has a Ph.D. from University of London and is author of many articles and books on Chinese anthropology, history, and sociology in both Chinese and English, including Social Anthropology and Sinology (1997, in Chinese), Grassroots Charisma (2001, in English, co-authored with Stephan Feuchtwang), Beyond Rural China (2003, In Chinese), and The West as Other (2007, in Chinese). He also writes political comments and travelogues.