SUMMER READING SALE! 30% off all eBooks until Sept 2nd! Emptiness and Fullness: Ethnographies of Lack and Desire in Contemporary China | BERGHAHN BOOKS
Join our Email List Berghahn Books Logo

berghahn New York · Oxford

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Instagram
Emptiness and Fullness: Ethnographies of Lack and Desire in Contemporary China

View Table of Contents

Volume 2

Studies in Social Analysis

See Related
Anthropology Journals

Email Newsletters

Sign up for our email newsletters to get customized updates on new Berghahn publications.

Click here to select your preferences

Emptiness and Fullness

Ethnographies of Lack and Desire in Contemporary China

Edited by Susanne Bregnbæk and Mikkel Bunkenborg

154 pages, 3 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-580-8 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (July 2017)

eISBN 978-1-80539-868-4 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“…an impressive, if short, volume. Harking back to structuralist ethnography’s attention to semiotic detail, its case studies show the importance of comparative ethnography built on linguistic, conceptual, and methodological rigour. Each chapter provides a rich array of Chinese keywords that warrant further attention, particularly in terms of their social the oretical implications…[This volume] showcases the conceptual breadth and linguistic rigour of the anthropology of China coming out of Europe today, synthesizing much of the existing literature and connecting it to well-presented case studies.” • Anthropos


As critical voices question the quality, authenticity, and value of people, goods, and words in post-Mao China, accusations of emptiness render things open to new investments of meaning, substance, and value. Exploring the production of lack and desire through fine-grained ethnography, this volume examines how diagnoses of emptiness operate in a range of very different domains in contemporary China: In the ostensibly meritocratic exam system and the rhetoric of officials, in underground churches, housing bubbles, and nationalist fantasies, in bodies possessed by spirits and evaluations of jade, there is a pervasive concern with states of lack and emptiness and the contributions suggest that this play of emptiness and fullness is crucial to ongoing constructions of quality, value, and subjectivity in China.

Susanne Bregnbæk is assistant professor at University College Capital in Copenhagen, where she is working on socially vulnerable children and their families in Denmark.

Mikkel Bunkenborg is an associate professor in China Studies at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen.

Subject: Anthropology (General)Political and Economic Anthropology
Area: Asia-Pacific


Back to Top

Library Recommendation Form

Dear Librarian,

I would like to recommend Emptiness and Fullness Ethnographies of Lack and Desire in Contemporary China for the library. Please include it in your next purchasing review with my strong recommendation. The RRP is: $135.00

I recommend this title for the following reasons:

BENEFIT FOR THE LIBRARY: This book will be a valuable addition to the library's collection.

REFERENCE: I will refer to this book for my research/teaching work.

STUDENT REFERRAL: I will regularly refer my students to the book to assist their studies.

OWN AFFILIATION: I am an editor/contributor to this book or another book in the Series (where applicable) and/or on the Editorial Board of the Series, of which this volume is part.