By John Osburg
Who precisely are China's new wealthy? This pioneering research introduces readers to the personal lives—and the nightlives—of the strong marketers and executives redefining good fortune and standing within the urban of Chengdu. Over the process greater than 3 years, anthropologist John Osburg followed, and in a few cases assisted, filthy rich chinese language businessmen as they courted consumers, companions, and govt officials.
Drawing on his immersive stories, Osburg invitations readers to hitch him as he trips during the new, hugely gendered leisure websites for chinese language businessmen, together with karaoke golf equipment, saunas, and therapeutic massage parlors—places particularly designed to cater to the wishes and pleasure of elite males. inside of those areas, a masculinization of industrial is happening. Osburg information the advanced code of habit that governs businessmen as they cross approximately banqueting, ingesting, playing, bribing, changing presents, and acquiring sexual services.
These problematic social networks play a key function in producing enterprise, acting social prestige, and reconfiguring gender roles. yet many marketers think trapped via their tasks and ethical compromises during this evolving setting. eventually, Osburg examines their deep ambivalence approximately China's destiny and their very own complicity within the significant problems with post-Mao chinese language society—corruption, inequality, materialism, and lack of belief.
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Extra resources for Anxious Wealth: Money and Morality Among China's New Rich
For example, during the late Maoist era guanxi networks, often referred to as “going through the back door” (zou houmen), played a key role in helping individuals obtain scarce goods, a role they rarely play in today’s economy of consumer abundance (Davis 2000). In the context of business, David Wank (2002) argues that markets have not replaced guanxi and clientelist ties between the entrepreneurs and the state, but rather market reforms are structured by and operate within a clientelist framework.
Many locals also explained that the irrigation works at the nearby city of Dujiangyan, which helped prevent floods and facilitated agriculture in the Sichuan basin, was a major contributing factor to the laidback mentality of most Sichuanese. Chengdu, with a population of around 9 million (14 million if you include the surrounding rural districts), is the financial, commercial, and transportation center of western China. Located at the western edge of the Sichuan Basin, Chengdu is surrounded by mountains on all sides, shielding it from harsh northerly winds but also condemning it to fewer sunny days than London.
In everyday usage renqing has a positive moral connotation, while guanxi has a slightly derogatory one. The distinction between guanxi and renqing, however, is often one of perspective and moral framing rather than analytic category. 20 Two other features of guanxi important to this study are the reciprocity inherent in guanxi and the relationship between guanxi and social prestige. Once a guanxi relationship is established between two people, each can ask a favor of the other with the expectation that the favor will be repaid sometime in the future (Yang 1994).
Anxious Wealth: Money and Morality Among China's New Rich by John Osburg