Deep China: The Moral Life of the Person, What Anthropology and Psychiatry Tell Us about China Today

Deep China: The Moral Life of the Person, What Anthropology and Psychiatry Tell Us about China Today

Deep China: The Moral Life of the Person, What Anthropology and Psychiatry Tell Us about China Today

Deep China: The Moral Life of the Person, What Anthropology and Psychiatry Tell Us about China Today

Synopsis

Deep China investigates the emotional and moral lives of the Chinese people as they adjust to the challenges of modernity. Sharing a medical anthropology and cultural psychiatry perspective, Arthur Kleinman, Yunxiang Yan, Jing Jun, Sing Lee, Everett Zhang, Pan Tianshu, Wu Fei, and Guo Jinhua delve into intimate and sometimes hidden areas of personal life and social practice to observe and narrate the drama of Chinese individualization. The essays explore the remaking of the moral person during China's profound social and economic transformation, unraveling the shifting practices and struggles of contemporary life.

Excerpt

In the early years of the new millennium, the image of China is multiplex, consisting variously of a powerful nation with a robust economy; a communist society that has become more capitalist than the West; a strategic competitor to the United States; an unfathomably huge population approaching 1.4 billion people; and a culture that remains distinctive in spite of globalization. Most people in the West are now familiar with the surface facts: China is the second-largest economy in the world and set to become the largest in the lifetime of young adults. China is the world’s manufacturing center. Goods of all kinds, available on every continent, are stamped with the “Made in China” label. China not only has the largest reserve of foreign currency (mostly in U.S. dollars—well over a trillion of them!), but its financial system is also different and has so far weathered the global crisis much better than the United States, Europe, and Japan. Indeed, China’s economy continues to grow strongly. To deal with weakened exports, the Chinese government has further stimulated an already large and potentially immense domestic consumer market that buys everything from McDonald’s hamburgers to the Boeing 777 jet airline, so that it can become increasingly self-reliant. Some economists view China (not the West) as the engine that can—the country that can pull the global economy forward. And the Beijing Olympics and Shanghai World Expo have demonstrated to all the cuttingedge technology, sophisticated design, extraordinary level of infrastructure, and extensive “soft power” of its popular media that the new China can mobilize at a dizzying speed.

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