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Anxious Wealth: Money and Morality Among China's New Rich (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 3. April 2013

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"[Osburg's] ethnographic study of the emergence of China's new rich in the last three decades depicts and analyzes networks among elite entrepreneurs and between themselves and government officials, through which they establish alliances or even social institutions to generate, increase, and protect their wealth and social status... A must have book for China studies... Highly recommended." - A. Y. Lee, Choice "Anxious Wealth provides a close up view of the elite networks that criss-cross China's state/society divide, generate new forms of masculinity, and compel members to enact particular moral codes. Osburg's depiction is simultaneously critical and sympathetic, theoretically deft and ethnographically rich - a compelling anthropological portrait." - Andrew Kipnis, The Australian National University "John Osburg's arguments about the constitution of elite networks, the relational morality that structures those networks, and the profound importance of gender to male power in China are thought-provoking, compelling and provocative. Osburg takes us into a world of deal-making and networking that is often, literally, hidden behind curtains and closed doors. This book is a must-read for people seeking to better understand how power operates in China today." - Amy Hanser, University of British Columbia "Anxious Wealth is a compelling narrative of China's new rich, revealing the blurred boundaries of legality/illegality in the guanxi networks of private entrepreneurs, government officials, and state corporate managers. Osburg provides a valuable explanation of how masculinity, elite status, and wealth are stitched together in the leisure-cum-business activities of KTVs, saunas, and sex, thereby reframing notions of Chinese masculinity. This book offers a rare story of the interior, in Chengdu, Sichuan, giving readers another angle on the specificities by which capitalism is unfolding in China." - Lisa Rofel, Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

John Osburg is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Rochester, USA.


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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 7 Rezensionen
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
"Studying Up" in China 10. Oktober 2013
Von Robert L. Moore - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Laura Nader once wrote that anthropologists have a lot to contribute to our understanding of how power is exercised in the United States by studying those who wield it. True enough, and John Osburg shows us that the same principle applies to China.

Since I've spent a good deal of time downing shots of white liquor at Chinese banquets, I can say that I truly sympathize with Mr. Osburg for the endless series of network-building eating-and-drinking fests he had to face in order to collect his data. And he did have to face them: one of the key features of the power structures that his ethnography reveals is that they are based to a large extent on the connections that ambitious individuals are able to put together by treating key players to hard-drinking entertainments at restaurants, karaoke bars and other venues, many of which involve opportunities for sexual encounters. In fact, for entrepreneurs seeking to build a power base, Osburg shows how sexual encounters with female "beauties," particularly encounters which can be regarded as inappropriate, are used to build a sense of indebtedness and even intimacy between male players. This highlights an important feature of Chinese influence networks that make them inherently discriminatory toward women. This is but one of the disadvantages faced by female entrepreneurs in China. In fact, the forms that gender discrimination takes is a major theme of Anxious Wealth. No other book with which I am familiar lays out in such compelling detail the differences in male vs. female experiences and opportunities in China's burgeoning economy.

One of the most fascinating segments of this book is that which cites the lengthy confessional memoir written by Li Zhen, a government official found guilty of corruption. Beyond this, there is a wealth of information about such obscure corners of Chinese society as organized crime, and the complementary functions of criminal organizations vis-a-vis local governments in some contexts.

Osburg's discussion of the implications of the connection-based power structures of China and future prospects for democratic reform is very informative. There is room for both optimistic and pessimistic forecasts. A striking fact brought out in his concluding comments is that according to a recent survey of individuals with assets over 10 million yuan (about 1.6 million US dollars), 60% of them "are either considering moving abroad or have started the procedures to do so." Most of the reasons cited to explain this trend have to do with the millionaires' concerns about corruption and the consequent threat to their long-term security and the quality of life in store for them. Interestingly, some who do go abroad become disillusioned and return to China.

All in all, this is an excellent and quite readable ethnography of an important sector of Chinese society. Highly recommended.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
In-Depth. Good Knowledge Of China's Business Culture 16. Oktober 2013
Von Rajiv Chopra - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This is an excellent book, well researched and well written. I have lived in China for five years, did learn to speak Chinese, and asked many questions that normal expatriates did not ask
I have been to some of the karaoke bars (no sex!!), and have witnessed the business culture up front.

While I don't want to appear as though I am validating his findings, especially since John Osbourne did significant more research than I did, and travelled deeper into these matters than I did, I did experience what he talks about.

The end notes at the end of the book are excellent as well. They add a lot of flavour to the book, and do provide excellent explanations of many points. These end notes are essential reading, in my view.
I also like the section on the female entrepreneurs. This is an excellent addition to my knowledge as well.

For anyone who wants to gain an in-depth idea of business culture in China, you will do yourself a favour by reading this book.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Excellent look at masculinity and morality in China 10. Mai 2013
Von Alex Nelson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Ethnographically rich, this monograph is grounded in years of data. One of the best Ethnographies on China, easy to read, could be enjoyable for both scholars and the casual China reader.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A very deep research result 25. April 2014
Von C.Tong - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Osburg's book Anxious Wealth gives a first hand experience on doing business in China. The best part in this book is that the author compared his field research experience with traditional sociology models.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Mr Osburg has worked goudui magic 30. Oktober 2014
Von Graeme - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
An amazing debut. The fieldwork Mr Osburg undertook has me in eternal admiration of both his chutzpah and his liver.
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