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Tracing ChinaA Forty-Year Ethnographic Journey$
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Helen F. Siu

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9789888083732

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888083732.001.0001

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Socialist Peddlers and Princes in a Chinese Market Town

Socialist Peddlers and Princes in a Chinese Market Town

Chapter:
(p.73) 5 Socialist Peddlers and Princes in a Chinese Market Town
Source:
Tracing China
Author(s):

Helen F. Siu

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888083732.003.0005

The problems of economic liberalization in a market town in south China raise theoretical and empirical questions concerning the role of the state at the local level, both in the past and in the present. The failure of the party-state to disengage itself from society today is due to an administrative history to the unfolding of which the town residents have contributed their efforts. In an era of entrepreneurial vigor that is promoted officially, social life and economic choices continue to be guided by manipulations of and around bureaucratic power. State and local society have interpenetrated each other in ways that are overlooked by binary conceptual schemes that emphasize their mechanical opposition. What we have here is an example of “state involution,” of their inextricable interlocking.

Keywords:   Rural-urban divide, China, Hong Kong, Anthropology, Social changes, Political changes, Identity formation, History, Culture, modernity

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