Strangers in the City: Reconfigurations of Space, Power, and Social Networks Within China's Floating Population

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9780804740302: Strangers in the City: Reconfigurations of Space, Power, and Social Networks Within China's Floating Population

With rapid commercialization, a booming urban economy, and the relaxation of state migration policies, over 100 million peasants, known as China’s “floating population,” have streamed into large cities seeking employment and a better life. This massive flow of rural migrants directly challenges Chinese socialist modes of state control.

This book traces the profound transformations of space, power relations, and social networks within a mobile population that has broken through the constraints of the government’s household registration system. The author explores this important social change through a detailed ethnographic account of the construction, destruction, and eventual reconstruction of the largest migrant community in Beijing. She focuses on the informal privatization of space and power in this community through analyzing the ways migrant leaders build their power base by controlling housing and market spaces and mobilizing social networks.

The author argues that to gain a deeper understanding of recent Chinese social and political transformations, one must examine not only to what extent state power still dominates everyday social life, but also how the aims and methods of late socialist governance change under new social and economic conditions. In revealing the complexities and uncertainties of the shifting power and social relations in post-Mao China, this book challenges the common notion that sees recent changes as an inevitable move toward liberal capitalism and democracy.

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From the Back Cover:

“Li Zhang’s fascinating study of migrant workers in Beijing will add much to scholars’ understanding of power structures in ‘late-reform-era China.’”—Asian Affairs
“For all students and scholars wanting to understand the rapidly changing nature of the workforce in China’s cities, Stangers in the City should be required reading. It is also a lively and extremely well written account of the struggle to survive (and sometimes thrive) in urban China.”—Asian Affairs

About the Author:

Li Zhang is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Davis

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Li Zhang
Editore: Stanford University Press (2002)
ISBN 10: 0804740305 ISBN 13: 9780804740302
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Descrizione libro Stanford University Press, 2002. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 1. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0804740305

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