In this course, we will investigate emergent representations of the Chinese economy and its possible futures stressing the comparative perspectives of diverse groups of Chinese subjects regarding other nations and regions. Through the methods of anthropology, science and technology studies and political economy, we will focus primarily on technological development and innovation in contemporary China. We will consider a wide range of ethnographies, case studies, and historical accounts in order to ask the following questions: What are some of the discourses of evaluation which make possible changing views of East Asian economies by economists, officials, businesspeople and laborers? What does it mean to identify and characterize national economic cultures in the region, for example, those supposedly timeless markers of Chinese economic distinctiveness like the concept of guanxi? And lastly, how do divergent conceptions of technological development make possible new forms of life and labor?
Section 401 - SEM