Chapter

Exotic Familiarity

Xin Liu

in In One's Own Shadow

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2000 | ISBN: 9780520219939
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520923478 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520219939.003.0001
Exotic Familiarity

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This chapter argues that the most backward people in rural China are the “dead brains”: people who are not only poor but also incapable of making changes in life. No time seems more pleasant than the Maoist past, the local people of this area agree. The chapter introduces this concept, looking at tactics for dealing with everyday life which are shared by this particular group of rural residents: that is, those who are seen as being “backward,” those who are nostalgic about the Maoist past and suspicious of the present, those who see themselves as being marginalized by the regime of modernization, those who claim to be hopeless victims of social change, those who are fearful about their future—in short, a people of little significance.

Keywords: dead brains; moral geography; rural China; Maoist past; everyday life; social change

Chapter.  9082 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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