By John Osburg

Who precisely are China's new wealthy? This pioneering research introduces readers to the personal lives—and the nightlives—of the robust marketers and bosses redefining luck and standing within the urban of Chengdu. Over the process greater than 3 years, anthropologist John Osburg followed, and in a few situations assisted, prosperous chinese language businessmen as they courted consumers, companions, and govt officials.

Drawing on his immersive reviews, Osburg invitations readers to hitch him as he trips throughout the new, hugely gendered leisure websites for chinese language businessmen, together with karaoke golf equipment, saunas, and therapeutic massage parlors—places in particular designed to cater to the wishes and delight of elite males. inside those areas, a masculinization of commercial is occurring. Osburg info the advanced code of habit that governs businessmen as they move approximately banqueting, consuming, playing, bribing, replacing presents, and acquiring sexual services.

These elaborate social networks play a key function in producing company, acting social prestige, and reconfiguring gender roles. yet many marketers suppose trapped by means of their responsibilities and ethical compromises during this evolving setting. eventually, Osburg examines their deep ambivalence approximately China's destiny and their very own complicity within the significant problems with post-Mao chinese language society—corruption, inequality, materialism, and lack of belief.

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Yan 2009). Anxieties and frustrations are generated when increasing expectations of self-fulfillment and independence meet the need to rely on social networks for both business success and broader social recognition. Thus, while the moral, financial, and social lives of my informants were still structured by the practices and moralities of guanxi, many felt highly ambivalent about its pull on their lives. They articulated a desire to be free from social networks and allowed to follow their own paths.

36 Carousing in nightclubs with girlfriends and paid hostesses thus should not be interpreted as a release of suppressed masculinity after the prohibitions of socialism or simply as just what men, by nature, are programmed to do. Rather, by drinking, singing, and being flattered by female companions in nightclubs, men are both creating and enacting a particular version of masculinity associated with being a man of status and wealth in post-Mao China. ” This book examines how this gendering of the world of business came to be and the ways in which it is constantly reproduced through forms of network building and deal making in contemporary China.

They articulated a desire to be free from social networks and allowed to follow their own paths. This tension between individualism and guanxi mapped onto gender in interesting and unexpected ways. In her seminal study of guanxi, Mayfair Yang (1994: 316) sees the alliances generated by guanxi as inherently feminine, which she contrasts with a “masculine” rationalist objective legal system. ” Drawing on Margery Wolf ’s (1972) work on women in the patrilineal Chinese family, Kipnis suggests that women are more drawn to the individualism implicit in Christianity, which serves as a “gendered critique” of the outside world of male networks.

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