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P041


The Local Perception: New Anthropological Horizons of the Chinese Presence in the Global South
Convenors:
Mingyuan Zhang (University of Toronto Scarborough)
Theodor Tudoroiu (The University of the West Indies)
Format:
Panels
Sessions:
Wednesday 22 July, 14:00-16:00 (UTC+1)

Short abstract:

This panel welcomes papers that use any anthropological approach to explore the local perception of China's multidimensional actorness in the Global South. This concerns projects facilitated by the Belt-Road Initiative and the 'globalization from below' enacted by Chinese entrepreneurial migrants.

Long abstract:

This panel intends to explore the 'new horizons' of the anthropological analysis of an interesting but at times challenging topic: the local perception of China's multidimensional actorness in the Global South. The spectacular rise of the new global power has been associated with the two faces of today's most important international process, globalization. There is 'globalization from above,' enacted by Chinese corporations that impact the day-to-day life of people in various countries through trade, construction, resource extraction, local manufacturing, or educational projects; and there is 'globalization from below,' which turns Chinese entrepreneurial migrants into important socio-economic actors in African villages and Caribbean islands. Both processes are enhanced by the policies and actions of the government in Beijing, which tries to protect, support and, in a certain measure, coordinate the actions of its firms and nationals abroad. For a number of reasons, the Chinese expansion is more impactful in the Global South than in more developed countries. Accordingly, it is this vast part of the world that provides abundant evidence on the complex interaction between Chinese actors and local individuals and communities. This panel aims to bring together scholars who analyze local perceptions of the Chinese presence based on ethnographic findings. We welcome papers based on any theoretical approach that scrutinize any relevant topic in any geographical region of the Global South. They have, however, to emphasize the local perception dimension in an as original as possible way; and, ideally, to be provocative - and interesting.