Chinese society has seen phenomenal change in the last 30 years. Two of the most profound changes have been the rise of the individual in both public and private spheres and the consequent individualization of Chinese society itself. Yet, despite China's recent dramatic entrance into global politics and economics, neither of these significant shifts has been fully analysed. China may indeed present an alternative model of social transformation in the age of globalisation - so its path to development may have particular implications for the developing world. The Individualization of Chinese Society reveals how individual agency has been on the rise since the 1970s and how this has impacted on everyday life and Chinese society more broadly. The book presents a wide range of detailed case studies - on the impact of economic policy, patterns of kinship, changes in marriage relations and the socio-economic position of women, the development of youth culture, the politics of consumerism, and shifting power relations in everyday life.
Yunxiang Yan is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California at Los Angeles.
CONTENTS 1. Introduction: The Rise of the Individual and the Individualization of Society 2. The Impact of Rural Reform on Economic and Social Stratification in a Chinese Village 3. Everyday Power Relations: Changes in a North China Village 4. The Triumph of Conjugality: Structural Transformation of Family Relations in a Chinese Village 5. Practicing Kinship in Rural North China 6. Calculability and Budgeting in a Household Economy: A Case Study from Rural North China 7. The Individual and Transformation of Bridewealth in Rural North China 8. Rural Youth and Youth Culture in North China 9. Dislocation, Reposition, and Restratification: Structural Changes in Chinese Society 10. The Politics of Consumerism in Chinese Society 11. Of Hamburger and Social Space: Consuming McDonald's in Beijing Notes Index