Download Anxious Wealth: Money and Morality Among China's New Rich by John Osburg PDF

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 executives redefining luck and standing within the urban of Chengdu. Over the process greater than 3 years, anthropologist John Osburg observed, and in a few cases assisted, filthy rich chinese language businessmen as they courted consumers, companions, and executive officials.

Drawing on his immersive studies, 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 needs and pleasure of elite males. inside of those areas, a masculinization of industrial is happening. Osburg info the complicated code of habit that governs businessmen as they move approximately banqueting, consuming, playing, bribing, replacing presents, and acquiring sexual services.

These problematic social networks play a key function in producing enterprise, appearing social prestige, and reconfiguring gender roles. yet many marketers suppose trapped by way of their duties and ethical compromises during this evolving atmosphere. 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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Sample text

Many local and foreign businessmen saw Intel’s arrival as signaling the “discovery” of Chengdu by foreign capital, and several other Fortune 500 companies, especially those in the IT industry, including Foxconn in 2010, have since established research centers and manufacturing facilities in Chengdu. 16 Like virtually all major cities in China from 2002 to 2011, Chengdu was undergoing a real estate boom. Soviet-style architecture from the Maoist era was being torn down all over the city and replaced with office towers and gated apartment complexes.

These tropes figured heavily into how my research subjects talked about gender relations, business practices, and the overall direction of change in China during the reform era. Regional “character” was used to explain particular behaviors, and they frequently cited regional cultural differences to account for the representativeness or uniqueness of Chengdu in economic and cultural matters. Sichuan as a whole and Chengdu in particular has a reputation for being more “laid back” (xiuxian) and slower-paced than other regions of China.

For example, a businessman with a relative in the transportation bureau might be allotted a number of shares to reflect the deals his connection to the government would likely generate. Similarly, important officials were offered shares and/or seats on a company’s governing board. At the time of my research, because there were fewer foreign firms and large private enterprises in Chengdu than in eastern cities, Chengdu lacked the large white-collar class that characterizes cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.

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