The Individualization of Chinese Society  book cover
1st Edition

The Individualization of Chinese Society

ISBN 9781847883780
Published November 1, 2009 by Routledge
352 Pages

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Book Description

Chinese society has seen phenomenal change in the last 30 years. Two of the most profound changes have been the rise of the individual in both public and private spheres and the consequent individualisation of Chinese society itself. Yet, despite China's recent dramatic entrance into global politics and economics, neither of these significant shifts has been fully analysed. China presents an alternative model of social transformation in the age of globalisation; therefore, its path to development may have particular implications for the developing world.The Individualization of Chinese Society reveals how individual agency has been on the rise since the 1970s and how this has affected everyday life and Chinese society more broadly. The book presents a wide range of detailed case studies focusing on the impact of economic policy, patterns of kinship, changes in marriage relations and the socio-economic position of women, the development of youth culture, the politics of consumerism, and shifting power relations in everyday life.Exploring the rise of the individual in both rural and urban settings, The Individualization of Chinese Society provides a detailed overview of this major social phenomenon and its wider implications.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS1.Introduction: The Rise of the Individual and the Individualization of Society2.The Impact of Rural Reform on Economic and Social Stratification in a Chinese Village3.Everyday Power Relations: Changes in a North China Village4.The Triumph of Conjugality: Structural Transformation of Family Relations in a Chinese Village5.Practicing Kinship in Rural North China 6.Calculability and Budgeting in a Household Economy: A Case Study from Rural North China7.The Individual and Transformation of Bridewealth in Rural North China8.Rural Youth and Youth Culture in North China9.Dislocation, Reposition, and Restratification: Structural Changes in Chinese Society10.The Politics of Consumerism in Chinese Society11.Of Hamburger and Social Space: Consuming McDonald's in BeijingNotesIndex

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Yunxiang Yan is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California at Los Angeles.


"An exceptional work - Tiers Monde The analysis and the conclusions place the book at the forefront of a field of research that is relatively unexplored - Jorge Delman Yan's ethnographic richness allows reflection and debate on the trajectories of China's rural changes, and thus makes this an important book for scholars and students of China. - The China Journal, Issue 68 - Melissa J. Brown, University of Minnesota/Harvard University A highly valuable addition to China studies in the West. - Journal of Biosocial Sciences"