By John Osburg
Who precisely are China's new wealthy? This pioneering research introduces readers to the personal lives—and the nightlives—of the robust marketers and bosses redefining luck and standing within the urban of Chengdu. Over the process greater than 3 years, anthropologist John Osburg followed, and in a few situations assisted, prosperous chinese language businessmen as they courted consumers, companions, and executive officials.
Drawing on his immersive reviews, Osburg invitations readers to affix him as he trips throughout the new, hugely gendered leisure websites for chinese language businessmen, together with karaoke golf equipment, saunas, and therapeutic massage parlors—places in particular designed to cater to the needs and delight of elite males. inside of those areas, a masculinization of commercial is occurring. Osburg information the complicated code of habit that governs businessmen as they pass approximately banqueting, consuming, playing, bribing, changing presents, and acquiring sexual services.
These difficult social networks play a key position in producing company, acting social prestige, and reconfiguring gender roles. yet many marketers suppose trapped by means of their responsibilities and ethical compromises during this evolving atmosphere. finally, 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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Additional resources for Anxious Wealth: Money and Morality Among China's New Rich
Elite entertainment, despite its superficial resemblance to global leisure culture, draws on notions of male power and privilege with a longer historical 42 MASCULINITY, SEXUALITY, AND ALLIANCES trajectory in China (Uretsky 2007). I argue that a closer examination of the new spaces of leisure and entertainment frequented by the entrepreneurial elite suggests a more complex mechanism for the production of new elite, masculine subjects than interpellation by a global discourse of neoliberalism. Much work on male alliance building in the North American context emphasizes that the lurking fear of homosexuality delimits the forms and contexts for expressing and enacting homosocial desire (Kimmel 1994; Kiesling 2005).
Anxieties and frustrations are generated when increasing expectations of self-fulfillment and independence meet the need to rely on social networks for both business success and broader social recognition. Thus, while the moral, financial, and social lives of my informants were still structured by the practices and moralities of guanxi, many felt highly ambivalent about its pull on their lives. They articulated a desire to be free from social networks and allowed to follow their own paths. This tension between individualism and guanxi mapped onto gender in interesting and unexpected ways.
In real estate development projects, local governments often collude with entrepreneurs in the appropriation of publicly owned land for commercial development, and they rely on the underground force provided by organized criminal brotherhoods to force reluctant residents off their land or to persuade them to accept often illegally low compensation for their property. Chapter Four considers some of the consequences and effects of elite networks on the dynamics of consumption and status in urban China.
Anxious Wealth: Money and Morality Among China's New Rich by John Osburg