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P110b


Commoning in the digital age – lessons from China and beyond II 
Convenors:
Xinyuan Wang (University College London (UCL))
Jolynna Sinanan (University of Manchester)
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Chair:
Daniel Miller (University College London (UCL))
Discussant:
Anne-Christine Trémon (Université de Lausanne)
Format:
Panel
Location:
Peter Froggatt Centre (PFC), 03/012
Sessions:
Wednesday 27 July, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

This panel will deal with a range of evolving commoning practices in the fields such as healthcare, sexuality, migration, and religion, drawn on ethnographies in China and beyond, with a focus on the digital possibilities facilitated by the proliferation of the smartphone.

Long Abstract:

A disproportionate amount of discussions around commoning are based on Western norms and Western histories. The very notions of a public sphere and public goods, of the role of the state and terms such as neoliberalism, have tended to ignore the degree to which the world’s largest population is not simply an exception but a hugely important and different set of configurations. Even the transformative results of Covid-19 will have had almost diametrically different consequences as can be seen from how the Chinese state makes claims for its response contrasted with others. We are still far too dependent upon the projections upon China that maintain an orientalist, even colonialist set of moral and other assumptions.

As a major global force in digital technologies, China is shaping and being shaped by digital technologies at a breath-taking speed and scale. Furthermore, the all-encompassing role of the Party-state, along with the traditional Chinese cosmology, makes China a special case with regards to commoning practices among various groups, including Chinese immigrants. Digital anthropology, with its strength in understanding digital practices in daily life, provides an ideal perspective to make sense of the evolving commoning in the digital age.

This panel will deal with a wide range of evolving commoning practices in the fields such as healthcare, sexuality, migration, and religion. Also, with a focus on the digital possibilities facilitated by the proliferation of personal digital devices, such as the smartphone, the discussion of digital commoning practices will be always situated in wider offline practices.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -