In this well-conceived collection of essays, the anthropologist Everett Zhang and his colleagues—several anthropologists, a legal scholar, a public health specialist, a medical sociologist, a historian, a political scientist, and a philosopher—trace the changing modalities of state power and concomitant changes to the perceptions of human life in China from the Mao years to the present period. As Arthur Kleinman points out in his foreword, in the 1970s the Communist Party-State acted “as if its subjects owed it their very lives” (xiv), while today it takes the well-being of China's citizens as its central concern. This shift in state power has created the conditions for a growing number of Chinese to imagine and pursue an “adequate life,” which according to Everett Zhang in his introduction “entails elevation from merely living a life to living a better life, from insuring biological being to...

Article PDF first page preview

Article PDF first page preview
You do not currently have access to this content.