Gao Village Revisited

The Life of Rural People in Contemporary China

Mobo C. F. Gao

The Chinese University Press

Gao Village Revisited

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Pub Date: January 2019

ISBN: 9789629965785

300 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $45.00

Gao Village Revisited

The Life of Rural People in Contemporary China

Mobo C. F. Gao

The Chinese University Press

This is a close study of Gao village twenty years after the author, an anthropologist and native of Gao village, wrote his original ethnography Gao Village. It combines ethnographic analysis, personal vignettes, and a number of fascinating stories, which presents a convincing yet complex picture of how Gao villagers interact with the outside world. With his sympathetic and insider’s approach, the author argues that rural Chinese display great entrepreneurship and inner strength of self-improvement; they are active contributors to China’s economic boom.
This is a close ethnographic look at the world of Gao villagers twenty years after the author, an anthropologist and native of Gao village, wrote his original ethnography. Through a look at Gao villagers, including the ethnographer’s own family and extended kin, we are able to see the decline of agriculture and the integration of rural people into an urban economy. We get an in-depth look at how rural people have prospered in this informal economy, but we also see them confronting new sources of stress and strain even as their material living standard rises. Ellen Oxfeld, Middlebury College
This sequel to Gao’s earlier work (1999) about his home village in Jiangxi Province is an engaging and digestible short course on contemporary China’s rural economy. The anecdotes from observation and personal knowledge of the lives of Gao villagers reflect Gao’s critical, often wry perspective; some of the best chapters are those that profile the lives of Gao villagers’ entrepreneurial vicissitudes in a relatively unregulated market environment. Ann Hill, Dickinson College

About the Author

Mobo Gao is chair of Chinese Studies at the Department of Asian Studies the University of Adelaide. His research interests include studies of rural China, contemporary Chinese politics and culture, Chinese migration to Australia, and the mass media. He has published several books, including the critically acclaimed book Gao Village: Rural Life in Modern China (2007), The Battle of China’s Past: Mao and the Cultural Revolution (2008), Remembering Socialist China, 1949–1976 (2015), and Constructing China: Clashing Views of the People's Republic (2018).