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Other titles in the Body, Commodity, Text: Studies of Objectifying Practice series:
Appetites: Food and Sex in Post-Socialist China (Body, Commodity, Text)by Judith Farquhar
Synopses & Reviews
Judith Farquharandrsquo;s innovative study of medicine and popular culture in modern China reveals the thoroughly political and historical character of pleasure. Ranging over a variety of cultural terrains--fiction, medical texts, film and television, journalism, and observations of clinics and urban daily life in Beijingandmdash;Appetites challenges the assumption that the mundane enjoyments of bodily life are natural and unvarying. Farquhar analyzes modern Chinese reflections on embodied existence to show how contemporary appetites are grounded in history.
From eating well in improving economic times to memories of the late 1950s famine, from the flavors of traditional Chinese medicine to modernityandrsquo;s private sexual passions, this book argues that embodiment in all its forms must be invented and sustained in public reflections about personal and national life. As much at home in science studies and social theory as in the details of life in Beijing, this account uses anthropology, cultural studies, and literary criticism to read contemporary Chinese life in a materialist and reflexive mode. For both Maoist and market reform periods, this is a story of high culture in appetites, desire in collective life, and politics in the body and its dispositions.
"Judith Farquhar has done an exquisite job of clarifying why it makes sense to write a text that ranges across Chinese medicine, food, and sex, and how they are intimately linked through the specificities of appetites, desires, and anxieties about the body. Farquhar beautifully delineates how embodiment is historically and politically produced, how it forms the nexus of numerous enactments, some allegorical, some very concrete in terms of the body's well being, but all linked to post-socialist Chinese life."--Lisa Rofel, University of California, Santa Cruz
An experimental ethnography of food, sex, and health in post-socialist China
About the Author
Judith Farquhar is Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the author of Knowing Practice: The Clinical Encounter of Chinese Medicine.
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