Current Institutional Affiliation
Lecturer, Medical Humanities, Peking University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2005
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, University of North Carolina / Chapel Hill
Beyond the Economic Peasant: Embodiment and Healthcare in Rural Henan

Taking the question of "rural health" as an entry point, I propose an anthropology of embodiment which turns to the everyday practices of embodied actors to perceive the character of lived life beyond the stereotypes of nongmin (peasants) both in anthropology and in China. The conception of "health" having always been contingent on local practices and desires, my dissertation seeks to provide new content for the notion of "rural health" as it has been understood in central China: as concept, as practice, and as forms of embodiment. The questions I want to ask are: what are people's own understandings and practices of health, and what are their embodied experiences of healthful concerns and pursuits (in a broadened sense)? Furthermore, what are their own definitions of the "good life?" My research seeks to bring into visibility the heterogeneity of everyday life in the countryside, indicate some consequences of Chinese and global class discrimination, and engage in an ethnographic critique of the hegemonic elite discourses of "economic man."