This book is a product of over ten years of work. It addresses intermarriage circles, transformations of customs, the rise and fall supernatural forces, power relations among gods, ghosts and people in “synchronic communities,” and
tongxiangtongye (same hometown, same industry) economies based on rural sociocultural networks in the author’s native Sun Village in Putian. The author explores the details of microhistory by examining changes and continuities in everyday life to show the grand through the minute.
This exciting book possesses important theoretical significance, including reflections on binary frameworks such as state vs. society and tradition vs. modernity or revolution, along with new arguments about commonly used concepts such as “the cultural nexus of power” and “the hollowing-out of the rural.”
This collection includes seven articles from the journal Open Times, a window into contemporary Chinese academic trends. All the articles deal with the topic of “peasants, migrant workers and informal labor,” but each has a different emphasis.
It illustrates various ways that people from a countryside make use of local social resources to seek out ways to making a living. In these models, we can still see traditional social networks, various degrees of ties based on kinship and locality, and the existence of humans as social groups. It also analyzes Dagongmei’s collective actions to fight against the capital and patriarchy, workers’ collective resistance at OEM factories, and the impacts of labor migration on rural poverty and inequality.