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Tracing China
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Tracing China chronicles forty years of fieldwork. The journey began from exploring rural revolution and reconstitutions of community in South China; it spans decades of persistent rural-urban divide and eventually uncovers China’s global reach and Hong Kong’s cross-border dynamics. Siu traverses both physical and cultural landscapes, examines how political tumults transform into everyday lives, and fathoms the depths of human drama amid China’s frenetic momentum toward modernity. She highlights complicity, portraying how villagers, urbanites, cadres, entrepreneurs, and intellectuals—laden with historical baggage—venture forward. The question is: Have they become victims of the circumstances created by their own actions? The essays are woven together by key themes in historical anthropology—culture, history, power, place-making, and identity formation, informed by critical social theories, and characterized by a careful scrutiny of fieldwork encounters and archival texts. Stressing process and contingency, Siu argues that culture and society are constructed through human actions with nuanced meanings, moral imagination, and contested interests. She challenges the perception that social/political changes are merely linear historical progressions. Instead, she traces layers of the past in present realities.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. p. vii
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  1. Introduction: China as Progress
  2. pp. viii-xvi
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  1. Part 1: Tracing Meaningful Life-Worlds
  2. pp. 17-24
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  1. 1. Reflections on Historical Anthropology
  2. pp. 25-45
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  1. 2. Cultural Identity and the Politics of Difference in South China
  2. pp. 46-64
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  1. Part 2: Moving Targets
  2. pp. 65-66
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  1. 3. Images: Prologue to Agents and Victims in South China
  2. pp. 67-74
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  1. 4. China’s Century
  2. pp. 75-82
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  1. Part 3: Structuring and Human Agency
  2. pp. 83-88
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  1. 5. Socialist Peddlers and Princes in a Chinese Market Town
  2. pp. 89-110
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  1. 6. Recycling Rituals
  2. pp. 111-126
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  1. 7. Reconstituting Dowry and Brideprice in South China
  2. pp. 127-148
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  1. Part 4: Culturing Power
  2. pp. 149-152
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  1. 8. Recycling Tradition
  2. pp. 153-178
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  1. 9. Lineage, Market, Pirate, and Dan
  2. pp. 179-202
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  1. 10. The Grounding of Cosmopolitans: Merchants and Local Cultures in South China
  2. pp. 203-232
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  1. Part 5: History between the Lines
  2. pp. 233-236
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  1. 11. Where Were the Women?
  2. pp. 237-259
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  1. 12. Social Responsibility and Self-Expression
  2. pp. 260-288
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  1. Part 6: Place-Making: Locality and Translocality
  2. pp. 289-292
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  1. 13. Subverting Lineage Power: Local Bosses and Territorial Control in the 1940s
  2. pp. 293-312
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  1. 14. The Cultural Landscape of Luxury Housing in South China: A Regional History
  2. pp. 313-334
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  1. 15. Positioning “Hong Kongers” and “New Immigrants”
  2. pp. 335-368
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  1. 16. Grounding Displacement
  2. pp. 369-398
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  1. Part 7: Historical Global and the Asian Postmodern
  2. pp. 399-402
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  1. 17. Hong Kong: Cultural Kaleidoscope on a World Landscape
  2. pp. 403-416
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  1. 18. Women of Influence
  2. pp. 417-445
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  1. 19. Retuning a Provincialized Middle Class in Asia’s Urban Postmodern: The Case of Hong Kong
  2. pp. 446-470
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  1. Glossary
  2. pp. 471-476
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 477-519
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 520-526
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