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Streetlife China

Streetlife China


Part of Cambridge Modern China Series

Alongside the commentary of Michael Dutton, this book features contributions from over thirty Chinese academics, journalists and others, together with various official documents.
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  • Date Published: February 1999
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521637190

£ 26.99

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About the Authors
  • 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. 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.

    • Can be dipped into randomly as a reader, or read through as a coherent argument
    • Contains a fascinating array of material, much of which was previously unattainable or overlooked
    • Uses voices from regulatory bodies to the margins of society to give a vivid picture of everyday life in contemporary China
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Dutton describes this wonderful book as 'a treasure box of possibilities. Possibilities both for Chinese society and for those of us in the business of making sense of it.' You never know what you will come across in its pages … It is endlessly interesting.' The Guardian

    'Michael Dutton is in the option of this reviewer the most gifted China analyst working today with poststructuralist methods and concepts.' Arif Kirlik, Duke University

    'Streetlife China is a well-researched and intelligent look at some of the losers of economic reform in China … [It] provides a wealth of information on the darker side of the Chinese economic miracle, information available elsewhere in English. This is an aspect of China that, I suspect, will continue to grow in political significance and news worthiness during the next few years.' The Australian

    'Dutton has produced a book rippling with fascinating , sometimes bizarre, detail. It is yet another China. He puts it succinctly when he says it is 'a story that begins in a back street and never really leaves it'.' Panorama, Canberra Times

    'As always, there are two Chinas: the official and the unofficial. and while experts dissect every word that Beijing's bosses say, the ordinary Chinese on the street are doing what they've always done: going about the struggle of daily life, whether selling Mao badges or posters (regaining popularity), finding a life partner, or - for under one percent of the population, 'an awful lot of people' - resorting to crime. Dutton's text is mesmeric in weaving these diverse backstreet threads into mainstream visions.' The Weekend Australian

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 1999
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521637190
    • length: 324 pages
    • dimensions: 246 x 189 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.58kg
    • contains: 80 b/w illus. 4 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Streetlife Subalterns
    Part I. Rights, Traditions, Daily Life and Deviance:
    1. Rights and traditions
    2. Daily life in the work unit
    3. Defining 'outsiders', labelling Liumang
    Part II. The 'Strategies' of Government and 'Tactics' of the Subaltern:
    4. Analysis
    5. Government strategies I
    6. Government strategies II
    7. Subaltern tactics and government response
    Part III. Naming, Framing, Marking:
    8. Naming
    9. Framing
    10. Marking
    Part IV. The Architecture of Life:
    11. City space
    12. Social relations and the architecture of life
    13. Out of the work unit
    14. Changing landscapes, changing mentalities
    Part V. Stories of the Fetish:
    15. Chairman Mao
    Part VI. Market Trainings.

  • Author

    Michael Dutton, University of Melbourne


    Alongside the commentary of Michael Dutton, this book features contributions from over thirty Chinese academics, journalists and others, together with various official documents.

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