Reviews on women and gender in China, published on WAGNet, a network to help researchers exchange information and keep up to date with developments and publications in the field of gender and China.
All reviews published on WAGNet
This photo was taken in Jinli ancient street in Chengdu (Sichuan), in 2010. The street was renovated in 2004 and has become since one of the city’s most popular spots for both tourists and locals. Located next to the Wuhou Memorial Temple, the pedestrian street abounds with stores selling folk handicrafts, teahouses (even one Starbucks), and stalls with an astonishing variety of local snacks. In this one, cold cakes (huntang lianggao – 混糖凉糕) and bamboo rolls of beef (zhuye niurou – 竹叶牛肉) were made on the spot for 7 and 10 yuan the piece, respectively. This pattern of urban development has been replicated in almost every provincial capital in the last decade with much success. Pedestrians stroll against a backdrop of picturesque façades, getting a taste of the old rural life left behind.
Cara Wallis (2013), Technomobility in China: Young Migrant Women and Mobile Phones, New York: NYU Press, 288 p. ISBN-10:0814795269 ISBN-13:978-0814795262
As unprecedented waves of young, rural women journey to cities in China, not only to work, but also to “see the world” and gain some autonomy, they regularly face significant institutional obstacles as well as deep-seated anti-rural prejudices. Based on immersive fieldwork, Cara Wallis provides an intimate portrait of the social, cultural, and economic implications of mobile communication for a group of young women engaged in unskilled service work in Beijing, where they live and work for indefinite periods of time.
While simultaneously situating her work within the fields of feminist studies, technology studies, and communication theory, Wallis explores the way in which the cell phone has been integrated into the transforming social structures and practices of contemporary China, and the ways in which mobile technology enables rural young women—a population that has been traditionally marginalized and deemed as “backward” and “other”—to participate in and create culture, allowing them to perform a modern, rural-urban identity. In this theoretically rich and empirically grounded analysis, Wallis provides original insight into the co-construction of technology and subjectivity as well as the multiple forcesthat shape contemporary China.
Table of Contents
- Introduction: Mobile Bodies, Mobile Technologies, and Immobile Mobility
- Ch. 2 Market Reforms, Global Linkages, and (Dis)continuity in Post-Socialist China
- Ch. 3 “My First Big Urban Purchase”: Mobile Technologies and Modern Subjectivity
- Ch. 4 Navigating Mobile Networks of Sociality and Intimacy
- Ch. 5 Picturing Self, Imagining the World
- Ch. 6 Mobile Communication and Labor Politics
- Conclusion: The Mobile Assemblage and Social Change in China