Streetlife China Michael Dutton

ISBN: 9780521637190

Published: January 13th 1999


324 pages


Streetlife China  by  Michael Dutton

Streetlife China by Michael Dutton
January 13th 1999 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, ZIP | 324 pages | ISBN: 9780521637190 | 6.49 Mb

This imaginative and incisive collection of pieces about life in contemporary China reveals, like a series of snapshots, a picture of the lives of ordinary people and the rules and rituals that govern their daily existence. Key themes surface: in particular, the emergence of a consumer culture driven by the market, and the way in which this intersects with the floating population of vagrants, prostitutes and liumang (hooligans). We see how, in turn, the official strategies of the state deal with this perceived social disorder and how the street responds.

Underlying much of the discussion of contestation and transformation is the notion of human rights. Street life is shown to be a creative, dynamic, dissenting, deviant and often compliant aspect of the economic, political and cultural face of China. Articles, written by Chinese scholars and journalists, as well as reports, official documents and interviews, all engaging and interesting in themselves, range from discussions of the work unit system to architecture, murder rates, acupuncture and Mao fetishes.

Some of the pieces are quirky: we learn about the Chinese version of Monopoly, translated as Entrepreneur, the Chinese Ethnic Culture theme park and the increasing popularity of tatoos, for example. Readers are guided through the book by extensive commentary written by Michael Dutton. There will be no better introduction to the discourses of contemporary China, and few more entertaining, vivid and stimulating accounts of shifts in cultural life and politics.

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