Ungrounded Empires: The Cultural Politics of Modern Chinese Transnationalism, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Ungrounded Empires

The Cultural Politics of Modern Chinese Transnationalism, 1st Edition

Edited by Aihwa Ong, Donald Nonini


352 pages

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In the last two decades, Chinese transnationalism has become a distinctive domain within the new "flexible" capitalism emerging in the Asia-Pacific region. Ungrounded Empires maps this domain as the intersection of cultural politics and global capitalism, drawing on recent ethnographic research to critique the impact of late capitalism's institutions--flexibility, travel, subcontracting, multiculturalism, and mass media--upon transnational Chinese subjectives. Interweaving anthropology and cultural studies with interpretive political economy, these essays offer a wide range of perspectives on "overseas Chinese" and their unique location in the global arena.


"This collection of essays is very coherent…" -- Asian Thought and Society

"This fascinating and thought-provoking book explores Chinese identity in a wide range of national and regional settings and among a variety of people, from businessmen to consumers to women factory workers. All the chapters are excellent and…well written…" -- Journal of Asian Studies

"This extraodinarily coherent volume of superb papers not only completely revises and reframes the considerable tradition of scholarship on overseas Chinese and the source of Chinese nationalism, but it stands also as a much needed model of how recent largely theoretical discussions of transnationalism, diaspora and the formulation of identities might give substantive new contours to older regimes of culture area studies." -- George E. Marcus, Rice University

"The historical depth and interdisciplinary perspectives are significant contributions to the study of the complexity of Chinese transnational experiences." -- American Journal of Sociology

"Theoretically sophisticated and politically sensitive, Ungrounded Empires offers much that is original and thought-provoking, and is a welcome addition to an important new area of inquiry. Of interest not only for East/Southeast Asian and Pacific studies, but also to those interested in cultural studies and the contemporary political economy." -- Arif Dirlik, Duke University

About the Editors

Aihwa Ong is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. Donald Nonini is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General