Based on extensive original research, the authors argue that social and cultural citizenship has a greater impact on people’s lives than legal, civil and political citizenship. The seven case studies present intimate portraits of the conflicted identities of peasants, criminals, ethnic minorities, the urban poor, rural migrant children in the cities, mainland migrants in Hong Kong and Chinese youth studying abroad, as they negotiate the perilous dilemmas presented by globalization and neoliberalism.
Drawing on a diverse array of theories and methods from anthropology, sociology, education, political science, cultural studies and development studies, the book presents fresh perspectives and highlights the often devastating consequences that citizenship distinctions can have on Chinese lives.
Vanessa L. Fong is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. Her publications include Only Hope: Coming of Age under China's One-Child Policy (Stanford University Press, 2004), Women in Republican China (co-edited with Hua R. Lan, M.E. Sharpe, 1999), and articles on identity, nationalism, globalization, gender and population in China.
Rachel Murphy is a research fellow in the Contemporary Chinese Studies Programme and Pembroke College, University of Oxford. Her publications include How Migrant Labour is Changing Rural China (Cambridge University Press, 2002) and articles on rural development, entrepreneurship, education, gender and population in China.
The essays in this volume address these questions by using a combination of ethnography and textual analysis and by exploring representation in and usage of a range of media including instant messaging, the internet, television, films, magazines and newspapers. The essays highlight highlights the richness, diversity, and sometimes contradictory tendencies of the meanings and consequences of media representations in China. The volume cautions against approaches that take the representations created by the media in China at face value and against oversimplified assumptions about the motivations and agency of players in the complex struggles that occur between the media, the Chinese state, and Chinese citizens.
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