Doing Business in Rural China

Doing Business in Rural China

Liangshan's New Ethnic Entrepreneurs

eBook - 2007
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Lightning Source, Inc. Ebooks

Longlisted for the 2009 ICAS Book Award

Mountainous Liangshan Prefecture, on the southern border of Sichuan Province, is one of China's most remote regions. Although Liangshan's majority ethnic group, the Nuosu (now classified by the Chinese government as part of the Yi ethnic group), practiced a subsistence economy and were, by Chinese standards, extremely poor, their traditional society was stratified into endogamous castes, the most powerful of which owned slaves. With the incorporation of Liangshan into China's new socialist society in the mid-twentieth century, the Nuosu were required to abolish slavery and what the Chinese government considered to be superstitious religious practices. When Han Chinese moved into the area, competing with Nuosu for limited resources and introducing new cultural and economic challenges, some Nuosu took advantage of China's new economic policies in the 1980s to begin private businesses.

In Doing Business in Rural China, Thomas Heberer tells the stories of individual entrepreneurs and presents a wealth of economic data gleaned from extensive fieldwork in Liangshan. He documents and analyzes the phenomenal growth during the last two decades of Nuosu-run businesses, comparing these with Han-run businesses and asking how ethnicity affects the new market-oriented economic structure and how economics in turn affects Nuosu culture and society. He finds that Nuosu entrepreneurs have effected significant change in local economic structures and social institutions and have financed major social and economic development projects. This economic development has prompted Nuosu entrepreneurs to establish business, political, and social relationships beyond the traditional social confines of the clan, while also fostering awareness and celebration of ethnicity.



Univ of Washington Pr

Longlisted for the 2009 ICAS Book Award

Mountainous Liangshan Prefecture, on the southern border of Sichuan Province, is one of China's most remote regions. Although Liangshan's majority ethnic group, the Nuosu (now classified by the Chinese government as part of the Yi ethnic group), practiced a subsistence economy and were, by Chinese standards, extremely poor, their traditional society was stratified into endogamous castes, the most powerful of which owned slaves. With the incorporation of Liangshan into China's new socialist society in the mid-twentieth century, the Nuosu were required to abolish slavery and what the Chinese government considered to be superstitious religious practices. When Han Chinese moved into the area, competing with Nuosu for limited resources and introducing new cultural and economic challenges, some Nuosu took advantage of China's new economic policies in the 1980s to begin private businesses.

In Doing Business in Rural China, Thomas Heberer tells the stories of individual entrepreneurs and presents a wealth of economic data gleaned from extensive fieldwork in Liangshan. He documents and analyzes the phenomenal growth during the last two decades of Nuosu-run businesses, comparing these with Han-run businesses and asking how ethnicity affects the new market-oriented economic structure and how economics in turn affects Nuosu culture and society. He finds that Nuosu entrepreneurs have effected significant change in local economic structures and social institutions and have financed major social and economic development projects. This economic development has prompted Nuosu entrepreneurs to establish business, political, and social relationships beyond the traditional social confines of the clan, while also fostering awareness and celebration of ethnicity.



Book News
Heberer (political science and East Asian studies, U. of Duisburg-Essen, Germany) recounts the stories of entrepreneurs in rural China, specifically those in the Liangshan Prefecture--the Yi, or Nuosu, ethnic group. He describes the daily life of Nuosu entrepreneurs and the related social, political, and developmental contexts of their lives and work. Other topics discussed are entrepreneurship and poverty, social change, and ethnic relations and identity, as well as a comparison of Yi and Han entrepreneurs' economic and social behaviors. The book is based on fieldwork he conducted from 1999 to 2002 in 10 of the 16 counties of the Liangshan Prefecture, which consisted of questionnaires and interviews with 138 entrepreneurs and some government officials. The book is aimed at China specialists and those interested in ethnicity and the anthropology of economic development. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: Seattle : University of Washington Press, Ă2007
ISBN: 9780295804095
0295804092
0295987294
9780295987293
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xii, 268 pages) : illustrations, maps

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