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Deep China

Deep China: The Moral Life of the Person

Arthur Kleinman
Yunxiang Yan
Jing Jun
Sing Lee
Everett Zhang
Pan Tianshu
Wu Fei
Guo Jinhua
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: 1
Pages: 322
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  • Book Info
    Deep China
    Book Description:

    Deep Chinainvestigates 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.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-95051-1
    Subjects: Health Sciences

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. INTRODUCTION: Remaking the Moral Person in a New China
    (pp. 1-35)

    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...

  5. CHAPTER ONE The Changing Moral Landscape
    (pp. 36-77)
    Yunxiang Yan

    This chapter depicts the changing moral landscape in contemporary China.¹ In nature, growing plants, blossoming flowers, flowing creeks, and floating clouds animate the earth and the sky. In a similar vein, the new ideas, ideals, and actions of individuals and the constant negotiations about their appropriateness bring life to the norms, values, and behavioral patterns in a society: this is the moral landscape. The regeneration of life bestows the unbounded beauty of nature; the remaking of the person—the moral person—makes the moral landscape into a limitless space of public reflection and intellectual exploration. Consider the following snapshots of...

  6. CHAPTER TWO From Commodity of Death to Gift of Life
    (pp. 78-105)
    Jing Jun

    In this chapter, as a further illustration of the transformation in subjectivity and moral experience thatDeep Chinaexplores, I focus on the relationship between an HIV/AIDS outbreak in China and the country’s collection of human blood for medical purposes. First, I will discuss the warning of a British scholar from four decades ago about the perils of blood trade. Then, I will review how trade in blood and plasma in central China contributed to the spread of HIV among blood sellers and recipients in the 1990s. My central argument in this chapter is that the Chinese government made several...

  7. CHAPTER THREE China’s Sexual Revolution
    (pp. 106-151)
    Everett Yuehong Zhang

    In October 2005, an academic event marked a turning point in the study of Chinese sexuality. During a conference organized by the Institute for Research on Sexuality and Gender at Renmin University of China in Beijing, participants raised the following question: what is the Chinese translation of the English termsexuality?This discussion was the result of the efforts of many Chinese scholars who, since the early 1980s, had attempted to distinguish between the English wordssexandsexualityin Chinese translation (Peng 2005).

    In fact, evenxing,the Chinese word commonly used today to translate the English wordsex,...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR Place Attachment, Communal Memory, and the Moral Underpinnings of Gentrification in Postreform Shanghai
    (pp. 152-176)
    Pan Tianshu

    Since the early 1990s, large-scale infrastructure projects have affected every corner of Shanghai: ring roads, suspension bridges, tunnels, viaducts, subways, intercity commuter trains, and a high-speed Maglev line were built simultaneously alongside high rises, convention buildings, world trade centers, stadiums, and a host of shopping malls. Shortly after China’s late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping completed his carefully orchestrated and well-publicized “Inspection Tour of the South” (Nan Xun) in 1992, Shanghai government officials launched a series of bold initiatives that aimed to reclaim Shanghai’s pre-1949 status as the most cosmopolitan city of East Asia.¹ In March 2009, China’s State Council gave...

  9. CHAPTER FIVE Depression: Coming of Age in China
    (pp. 177-212)
    Sing Lee

    Depression today has been found to be a highly prevalent illness in the United States and other Western countries. Epidemiological surveys indicate that one-third of the general population in the United States suffer from lifetime depression based on diagnostic criteria of the illness drawn up by the American Psychiatric Association. Depression has been equated with the common flu, in that it can be easily detected by general practitioners or laypeople using a variety of self-screening tests. Individuals who screen positive on the tests may simply request antidepressants from their doctors. By 2005, unsurprisingly, antidepressants surpassed antihypertensives to become the most...

  10. CHAPTER SIX Suicide, a Modern Problem in China
    (pp. 213-236)
    Wu Fei

    On December 5, 2007, Yu Hong, a well-known literature professor at Renmin University in Beijing, committed suicide by jumping from the tenth floor of a high-rise building.¹ Given that Yu Hongwas a prominent intellectual figure in China, his death provoked numerous discussions about suicide and reminded people of other famous suicides over the past three decades. On March 26, 1989, Haizi, in disputably the best Chinese poet of his time, threw himself in front of a train in Shanhaiguan; on January 4, 1991, Sanmao, a writer celebrated on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, hanged herself in a hospital; on...

  11. CHAPTER SEVEN Stigma: HIV/AIDS, Mental Illness, and China’s Nonpersons
    (pp. 237-262)
    Guo Jinhua and Arthur Kleinman

    Stigma—the psychological and interpersonal experiences of being discredited and discriminated against because of a particular condition—comes as close to a universal reality of being human as any human quality studied by social scientists and psychiatrists (Yang et al. 2007). So the study of stigma should tell us something about what is particular to Chinese culture as well as how the huge changes in social life that Chinese have lived through are affecting a core human condition. Having spent years studying stigma in China, we have come to see it as a window through which we gain a different...

  12. CHAPTER EIGHT Quests for Meaning
    (pp. 263-290)
    Arthur Kleinman

    This is the forty-first year since I began my research in a Chinese community (Taipei, Taiwan, 1969), and it is a little over thirty years since I started up studies on the China mainland (Changsha, Hunan, 1978). In the six and a half years that Joan Kleinman (my wife and collaborator, a trained sinologist who died in March 2011 after living with Alzheimer’s Disease for a decade) and I lived in Chinese society, I personally carried out or was a collaborator on studies of the health care system, including professional, folk, and family-based care. I also have conducted research on...

    (pp. 291-296)
    (pp. 297-298)
  15. INDEX
    (pp. 299-311)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 312-312)