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Soup, Love, and a Helping Hand: Social Relations and Support in Guangzhou, China

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Volume 8

Asian Anthropologies

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Soup, Love, and a Helping Hand

Social Relations and Support in Guangzhou, China

Friederike Fleischer

194 pages, 13 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-655-3 $120.00/£89.00 Hb Published (February 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78533-677-5 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $27.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


Soup, Love, and a Helping Hand is a very good introductory text for those who have never been to China, because it delineates contemporary forms of social support and the general context of this modern society.” • JRAI (Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute)

“The ethnography throughout is solidly empirical and also delicately sensitive to multiple nuances of meaning, the myriad of considerations that enter into each act of support, whether in reciprocity or in generalized gift, and the weight of consequences in precarious circumstances…The volume is well-written, concise, and readable, valuable for readers in the field and accessible for both informed general readers and university students.” • Anthropos

“This excellent monograph will be of great use to both scholars of contemporary China as well as to students at both graduate and undergraduate levels.” • Ellen Oxfeld, Middlebury College


Despite growing affluence, a large number of urban Chinese have problems making ends meet. Based on ethnographic research among several different types of communities in Guangzhou, China, Soup, Love and a Helping Hand examines different modes and ideologies of help/support, as well as the related issues of reciprocity, relatedness (kinship), and changing state-society relations in contemporary China. With an emphasis on the subjective experience, Fleischer’s research carefully explores people’s ideas about moral obligations, social expectations, and visions of urban Chinese society.

Friederike Fleischer is Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. She was previously a post-doctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany. She is the author of Surburban Beijing (2010), and co-editor of Ethnographies of Support (2013).

Subject: Anthropology (General) Sociology
Area: Asia-Pacific


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