By John Osburg

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

Drawing on his immersive reports, Osburg invitations readers to affix 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 particularly designed to cater to the needs and delight of elite males. inside those areas, a masculinization of industrial is happening. Osburg information the complicated code of habit that governs businessmen as they cross approximately banqueting, ingesting, playing, bribing, replacing presents, and acquiring sexual services.

These complex social networks play a key function in producing enterprise, appearing social prestige, and reconfiguring gender roles. yet many marketers think trapped through their tasks and ethical compromises during this evolving atmosphere. finally, 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 1996; 2003). 24 The cultural institution of guanxi predates both the PRC and the reform era, and its practices and forms have evolved along with the shifting political and economic regimes of modern China (Yang 1994: 146–72; Y. Yan 1996: 230). For example, during the late Maoist era guanxi networks, often referred to as “going through the back door” (zou houmen), played a key role in helping individuals obtain scarce goods, a role they rarely play in today’s economy of consumer abundance (Davis 2000).

Despite what countless business guides to China might lead one to believe, INTRODUCTION 23 guanxi is not an unchanging essence of Chinese culture, nor a preprogrammed way that Chinese people do business. 18 Guanxi connections can help an ordinary citizen grease the wheels of a slow-moving bureaucracy, or it can provide a businessman with a government contract to build a road. ” Guanxi relationships are composed of mixtures of interest, affect, and morality, a mixture that distinguishes them from other types of relationships.

The new rich themselves are searching for domains of distinction and cultivation that resist reduction to pure money values, which may foster a greater concern with philanthropy and generate new forms of moral distinction. 1 If the leader takes you to do a bad thing together, that means there will be a hundred good things waiting for you! —Saying popular on Chinese Internet forums in 2011 Compared with his lifestyle just a few years earlier, Mr. 2 Lounging in the private room of a foot massage parlor (xijiaofang), our feet soaking in a hot medicinal bath, Mr.

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