“Money Causes Trouble”

Ellen Oxfeld

in Drink Water, but Remember the Source

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780520260948
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520945876 | DOI:
“Money Causes Trouble”

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This chapter looks at the meanings of wealth and the expectations surrounding wealth in Moonshadow Pond. The divergent discourses about wealth and class circulate in the village. A person might emphasize class commonalities among villagers in one particular context, while in another context draw attention to wealth differences within the same group. People make both implicit and explicit moral judgments about the inequalities in contemporary society, as well as about the obligations of particular individuals with respect to their specific roles. At the end of the chapter, it asks if there are any unifying expectations beneath the many voices villagers use to talk about disparities in wealth in the reform era. The chapter concludes with a story that circulated around the village in 1996 (the story of Jintao's ring). It is illustrative of moral discourse in the village with respect to its presentation of the obligations in morality of wealth.

Keywords: wealth; expectations; Moonshadow Pond; class; obligations; Jintao; village; morality

Chapter.  12125 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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