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This chapter presents a wide range of social contexts and related personal experiences in which impotence occurs—the changing political class system, increasing inequality, the rural–urban divide, xiagang (layoffs from state-owned enterprises), the loss of filial piety, memories of socialist-era starvation, and so on. The wide range of detailed bodily experiences demonstrated in this chapter constitutes “one thousand bodies of impotence.” Through bodily experience, some historical processes emerge in a new light. For example, one man’s story of having difficulty finding a girlfriend under the Maoist political class system reveals that system as a biopolitical invention.

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