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The Specter of "the People"Urban Poverty in Northeast China$
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Mun Young Cho

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451652

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451652.001.0001

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The Will to Survive

The Will to Survive

(p.93) Chapter 4 The Will to Survive
The Specter of "the People"

Mun Young Cho

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the ways in which “community” is practiced as a new mode of governing poverty in China's cities, in particular, how urban laid-off workers who have come to serve as Community cadres are forced to refashion themselves as self-motivating citizen volunteers under the party-state's campaign of building community. By delving into the fragile position of Community cadres, the chapter looks at how the specter of “the people” permeates governmental intervention through “community.” In the decaying urban periphery, state governance through “community” has served two contradictory missions. One is to prompt laid-off workers to govern themselves through voluntary participation in their community—not to depend on the work unit or the government. The other is to rescue these laid-off workers by helping them gain reemployment in the state sector.

Keywords:   community, Community cadres, self-governance, building community, voluntary community participation, governmental intervention through community

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