Unique in Jing Xu's The Good Child is her measured and meticulous ethnography in a Shanghai private preschool between 2011 and 2012, the first of its kind to examine how parents and teachers socialize young children in the escalating conflicts between Chinese morality and modernity. The immediate context of this study is Biyu Preschool, which serves well-to-do families in the Pudong District of Shanghai, a financial rival of Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The moral life in Biyu reflects the moral uncertainty, tensions, and crises in society, a salient message from Xu's well-organized report of the results of participant observation, surveys, and experiments.

In this book, Xu describes her research on Chinese morality at Biyu Preschool as an effort to reengage the new field of moral anthropology with recent developments in psychology. By so doing, she hopes to “redress this critical disconnect between anthropology and psychology in studying the emergence...

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