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summary

An elaborate and pervasive set of practices, called guanxi, underlies everyday social relationships in contemporary China. Obtaining and changing job assignments, buying certain foods and consumer items, getting into good hospitals, buying train tickets, obtaining housing, even doing business—all such tasks call for the skillful and strategic giving of gifts and cultivating of obligation, indebtedness, and reciprocity. Mayfair Mei-hui Yang's close scrutiny of this phenomenon serves as a window to view facets of a much broader and more complex cultural, historical, and political formation. Using rich and varied ethnographic examples of guanxi stemming from her fieldwork in China in the 1980s and 1990s, the author shows how this "gift economy" operates in the larger context of the socialist state redistributive economy.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Half Title, Series Info, Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Introduction: Fieldwork, Politics, and Modernity in China
  2. pp. 1-46
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  1. Part I: An Ethnography of Micropolitics in a Socialist Setting
  2. pp. 47-48
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  1. 1. Guanxi Dialects and Vocabulary
  2. pp. 49-74
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  1. 2. The Scope and Use-Contexts of Guanxi
  2. pp. 75-108
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  1. 3. The "Art" in Guanxixue: Ethics, Tactics, and Etiquette
  2. pp. 109-145
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  1. 4. On the Recent Past of Guanxixue: Traditional Forms and Historical (Re-)Emergence
  2. pp. 146-172
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  1. Part II: Theoretical Formulations
  2. pp. 173-176
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  1. 5. The Political Economy of Gift Relations
  2. pp. 177-208
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  1. 6. "Using the Past to Negate the Present": Ritual Ethics and State Rationality in Ancient China
  2. pp. 209-244
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  1. 7. The Cult of Mao, Guanxi Subjects, and the Return of the Individual
  2. pp. 245-286
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  1. 8. Rhizomatic Networks and the Fabric of an Emerging Minjian in China
  2. pp. 287-311
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  1. Conclusion: Back to the Source
  2. pp. 312-322
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  1. Glossary
  2. pp. 323-333
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  1. Chinese and Japanese Bibliography
  2. pp. 334-340
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  1. English Bibliography
  2. pp. 341-360
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 361-370
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  1. Series Titles
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781501713057
Related ISBN
9780801423437
MARC Record
OCLC
1016608157
Pages
368
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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