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The Specter of "the People" – Urban Poverty in Northeast China - Cornell Scholarship Online
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The Specter of "the People": Urban Poverty in Northeast China

Mun Young Cho


Despite massive changes to its economic policies, China continues to define itself as socialist; since 1949 and into the present, the Maoist slogan “Serve the People” has been a central point of moral and political orientation. Yet several decades of market-based reforms have resulted in high urban unemployment, transforming the proletariat vanguard into a new urban poor. How do unemployed workers come to terms with their split status, economically marginalized but still rhetorically central to the way China claims to understand itself? How does a state dedicated to serving “the people” manage ... More

Keywords: China, Serve the People, market-based reform, urban unemployment, urban poverty, urban workers, migrants

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780801451652
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801451652.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Mun Young Cho, author
Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Yonsei University, Seoul