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Patriotic Professionalism in Urban China


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Table of Contents

1. Talent in the Global City: Preparing Dalian for the Twenty-first Century
2. Refiguring Dalian
3. Cultivating Talent
4. Patriotic Professionalism
5. Turning Culture into Profit
6. Gendering Security and the State in Urban China
7. Going Forward: China, Neoliberalism, and Economic Crises

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An ethnographic study of urban professionals in post-Mao China as they balance social responsibility and individual achievement

About the Author

Lisa M. Hoffman is Associate Professor in the Urban Studies Program at the University of Washington, Tacoma.


"The book is engaging, well written, and provocative. It will be of great interest to scholars and students interested in labor transformation in the new China, and it contributes to a more nuanced understanding of postsocialist transitional economies. For me, the book provided a wonderful way to become grounded in processes at the social and human end of global city formation. I learned much from reading it. It will be interesting to see a few years from now whether Hoffman's professional patriots were a transitional phase of labor formation in China." Contemporary Sociology "One of the book's biggest contributions is the way in which Hoffman has documented a particular moment of contemporary China and its rapid change... Hoffman's [convincing] argument about governmentality is one of her more important here, and the reason that her book deserves to be widely read. While her focus is on careers and young professionals, her analysis is relevant to scholars working in many different areas." -The China Journal "Hoffman's fascinating account of the emergence of urban professionals in China is based on extensive field study conducted between 1993 and 2003 in Dalian, a prominent city in the country's north-east region...Hoffman makes a number of noteworthy contributions. First, she provides insightful understanding in a well-reconciled manner regarding the otherwise apparent contradictions between participation in a free-market economy and following the dictates of the socialist state... [A] second contribution is a more nuanced understanding of neoliberalism as such and one that is less exclusive than widely accepted definitions by spanning beyond solely Western circumstances. Here Hoffman also makes the rightful suggestion that the seemingly commonsensical correlation between talent and a global city's prosperity is anything but natural or evolutionary and, in China, very much, as she puts it, a matter of governmental strategy and assemblage. What also emerges is a third contribution in the form of a relatively well-drawn portrait of the persona, if one can call it that, of China's rising professional middle class...Patriotic Professionalism in Urban China is a valuable and worthwhile contribution to our understanding of contemporary China." American Ethnologist, February 2012

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