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Cosmologies of Credit


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Notes on Orthography and Names xiii
Introduction 1
Part I. Edgy Dispositions 23
1. To Be Emplaced: Fuzhounese Migration and the Geography of Desire 31
2. Stepping Out: Contesting the Moral Career from Peasant to Overseas Chinese 59
Part II. Exits and Entrances 101
3. Snakeheads and Paper Trails: The Making of Exits 107
4. Bad Subjects: Human Smuggling, Legality, and the Problem of Entrance 141
Part III. Debts and Diversions 165
5. For Use in Heaven or Hell: The Circulation of the U.S. Dollar among Gods, Ghosts, and Ancestors 171
6. Partings and Returns: Gender, Kinship, and the Mediation of Renqing 217
Conclusion: When Fortune Flows 257
Notes 269
Bibliography 295
Index 321

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An ethnographic account of the desire for transnational mobility--largely via human smuggling networks--throughout Fuzhou, China

About the Author

Julie Y. Chu is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago.


"Cosmologies of Credit is a rich ethnography of migration that describes departures rather than arrivials, debts to gods that loom as large as debts to humans, and the lived experience of mobility without movement. Julie Y. Chu provides wonderfully subtle renderings of passionate and painful longings not to be left behind. One of the most astute and beautifully written ethnographies about China, Cosmologies of Credit is a pleasure to read."--Lisa Rofel, author of Desiring China: Experiments in Neoliberalism, Sexuality, and Public Culture "In this vivid account of Fuzhounese villagers' strenuous efforts to realize their own cosmopolitan mobility as undocumented, smuggled persons, Julie Y. Chu connects architecture, spirit money, the politics of destination, and the cosmology of value. As she convincingly argues, mobility is the modern feature of modernity, and the real is always in motion."--Tani Barlow, Rice University

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