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Soup, Love, and a Helping Hand: Social Relations and Support in Guangzhou, China

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Volume 8

Asian Anthropologies

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Soup, Love, and a Helping Hand

Social Relations and Support in Guangzhou, China

Friederike Fleischer

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194 pages, 13 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-655-3 25% OFF! $110.00/£78.00 $82.50/£58.50 Hb Published (February 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78533-677-5 eBook

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“This excellent monograph will be of great use to both scholars of contemporary China as well as to students at both graduate and undergraduate levels.” • Ellen Oxfeld, Middlebury College


Despite growing affluence, a large number of urban Chinese have problems making ends meet. Based on ethnographic research among several different types of communities in Guangzhou, China, Soup, Love and a Helping Hand examines different modes and ideologies of help/support, as well as the related issues of reciprocity, relatedness (kinship), and changing state-society relations in contemporary China. With an emphasis on the subjective experience, Fleischer’s research carefully explores people’s ideas about moral obligations, social expectations, and visions of urban Chinese society.

Friederike Fleischer is Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. She was previously a post-doctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany. She is the author of Surburban Beijing (2010), and co-editor of Ethnographies of Support (2013).

Subject: General Anthropology Sociology
Area: Asia


List of Illustrations
List of Main Interlocutors



Chapter 1. “If Not His Child, Who Will Pay for His Living?”: Household and Kin-Based Support
Chapter 2. Neighbors and Friends
Chapter 3. Support and Reciprocity


Chapter 4. Religious Revival

Chapter 5. The Church: Social and Religious Services
Chapter 6. Love: A Community of Believers


Chapter 7. Philanthropy, Charity, and Volunteerism
Chapter 8. Inspirations and Motivations to Volunteer
Chapter 9. Volunteering: Governmentality and Agency

Conclusion: Soup, Love, and a Helping Hand: Urban Transformations and the Ethics of Social Support


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