By Biao Xiang

This ebook sheds new mild on state-society family members in modern China via demonstrating how inflexible legitimate barriers inner to the country method, which have been crucial for the state's keep an eye on over society, have ironically facilitated the expansion of recent social areas. in line with lengthy years of fieldwork, the e-book takes us to a hugely not likely web site in Beijing - Zhejiangcun (literally 'Zhejiang village'), the largest migrant neighborhood in China, situated in basic terms 5 kilometres south of Tian'anmen sq. -- the place 100,000 migrants, as a rule from Wenzhou, have organised a colourful garment regardless of ordinary kingdom crackdowns. It files the spontaneous evolution of Zhejiangcun right into a hub of national migrant company networks transcending formally imposed barriers. The booklet additionally uses chinese language people insights and philosophical traditions as analytical instruments for tackling fluid social relationships unconfined to actual area.

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Extra resources for Transcending Boundaries: Zhejiangcun: The Story Of A Migrant Village In Beijing (China Studies)

Example text

I went away for the first time in 1973 with the construction and repair co-operative of the Donglian commune. The head of the co-op would go out and get contracts; then he’d take us off to do the work. I had a friend working in the commune [as a cadre]; we’d both been in the Lian faction. I got into the co-op through my connections with him. I first went to work in the ‘57’ Oilfield up in Jingmen in Hubei province for two years. Then I went to Gansu [province] in 1975. The elder brother of someone from the commune had connections in Jiuquan [city], and he contracted for a project using the name of the co-op—he took over 30 people to do it.

Whenever I met someone, I sought to ascertain what position s/he occupied in a system of roles within Zhejiangcun; what significance his/her actions had in terms of the structure of the community (how it was determined by and in turn reinforced that structure). To begin with, this enabled me to quickly arrive at an overview of Zhejiangcun. But, as my relations with the migrants reached deeper levels—to the point that I was called upon to help resolve disputes—I came to the realisation that not only were the positions I had assigned to certain people often incorrect, but that it was in fact almost impossible to give them any simple places in a system.

Yao Xin’an’s experience is an example of this wave of migrants with no legitimate status who lived in the underground economy: I didn’t take any money with me when I left. Just after Liberation in 1949, a paternal uncle had migrated with his master to make furniture. He had some tools and money. He talked with my father and asked father to let me go with him as an apprentice. My father agreed. Uncle would take care of my food and lodging, and I would be given 100–200 yuan at the end of the year.

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