China Urban is an ethnographic account of China's cities and the place that urban space holds in China's imagination. In addition to investigating this nation's rapidly changing urban landscape, its contributors emphasize the need to rethink the very meaning of the "urban" and the utility of urban-focused anthropological critiques during a period of unprecedented change on local, regional, national, and global levels.
Through close attention to everyday lives and narratives and with a particular focus on gender, market, and spatial practices, this collection stresses that, in the case of China, rural life and the impact of socialism must be considered in order to fully comprehend the urban. Individual essays note the impact of legal barriers to geographic mobility in China, the proliferation of different urban centers, the different distribution of resources among various regions, and the pervasive appeal of the urban, both in terms of living in cities and in acquiring products and conventions signaling urbanity. Others focus on the direct sales industry, the Chinese rock music market, the discursive production of femininity and motherhood in urban hospitals, and the transformations in access to healthcare.
China Urban will interest anthropologists, sociologists, political scientists, and those studying urban planning, China, East Asia, and globalization.
Contributors. Tad Ballew, Susan Brownell, Nancy N. Chen, Constance D. Clark, Robert Efird, Suzanne Z. Gottschang, Ellen Hertz, Lisa Hoffman, Sandra Hyde, Lyn Jeffery, Lida Junghans, Louisa Schein, Li Zhang