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Posted on:1987-09-03Degree:Ph.DType:Dissertation
University:University of California, Santa BarbaraCandidate:JANKOWIAK, WILLIAM RONALDFull Text:PDF
This urban ethnography is designed to present Huhhot, capital of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China, as a special kind of community context in which values and behavior are shaped by technological, economic and political developments. Methods employed were participant-observation and over 2,000 hours of intensive, directed, open-ended discussion to obtain intimate and repetitive details, some of which are as follows:;Urban family relations have been transformed in a number of different ways. Neolocal residents and employment have enabled women to redefine mother-in-law/daughter-in-law interaction from one of adversity to one characterized by mutual respect and politeness. However, after the birth of their first child, women cease regularly visiting their in-laws in favor of their own natal family.;The success of Socialist ideology in restructuring Chinese folk cosmology has had a noticeable affect. Except for "Old City" residents, Huhhotians seldom participate in traditional burial rites having rejected a belief in the gods, ghosts and ancestors. The corpse, once the repository of a person's soul, is now seen as powerless and unimportant, hence, it has been easy for the State to substitute cremation in place of burial. One unintended consequence of this transformation has been to gradually undermine parental authority within the family.;An occupational prestige study found urbanites evaluate one another and are themselves evaluated in terms of a simple scale which embodies three different aspects of social ranking: power/no power, extraordinary knowledge/ignorance, and genteel/crude. The lower levels link themselves with the upper levels by sharing membership in a single socio-moral system. Significantly, once an individual leaves his work unit, bureaucratic rank gives way to demeanor. The quality, frequency and intensity of interaction is determined primarily by a neighbor's social status. Government officials and intellectuals prefer to interact with people of similar social status. The refusal of many small officials to socially interact with their working class neighbors remains a major source of resentment and anger within working class households.
Keywords/Search Tags:Urban
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