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Path Breaking: Constructing Gendered Nationalism in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone

Path Breaking: Constructing Gendered Nationalism in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone positions 7:2 Fall 1999 rest of China; recently, it has been portrayed as a token of China’s commitment to capitalist globalization. Practically, these various representations have legitimated the hegemony of the Dengist Communist Party and encouraged foreign direct investment (primarily from Hong Kong and Taiwan) in the PRC. Despite the changing representations of the Shenzhen SEZ, however, each version of “Shenzhen” has been vexed by material contradictions-within Shenzhen itself, between Shenzhen and the rest of China, and between China and the outside world. Specifically, practices associated with Shenzhen legal residence (hu@u) created fundamental distinctions between Shenzheners and rural workers, distinctions that predicated a Chinese “competitive advantage” in the world capitalist system.* Consequently, the material interests of Shenzheners overlapped with those of the Chinese state and global capital in ways that facilitated an alliance between the state apparatus and international capital. In contrast, the experience of temporary residents, especially rural workers, reminds us of Aijaz Ahmad’s formulation that “[the] structural inability of capitalism to provide for the vast majority of the populations which it has sucked into its own dominion constitutes the basic, incurable flaw in the system as a whole.”3 By opposing state representations of immigration to Shenzhen http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

Path Breaking: Constructing Gendered Nationalism in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone

positions asia critique , Volume 7 (2) – Sep 1, 1999

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 1999 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1527-8271
DOI
10.1215/10679847-7-2-343
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

positions 7:2 Fall 1999 rest of China; recently, it has been portrayed as a token of China’s commitment to capitalist globalization. Practically, these various representations have legitimated the hegemony of the Dengist Communist Party and encouraged foreign direct investment (primarily from Hong Kong and Taiwan) in the PRC. Despite the changing representations of the Shenzhen SEZ, however, each version of “Shenzhen” has been vexed by material contradictions-within Shenzhen itself, between Shenzhen and the rest of China, and between China and the outside world. Specifically, practices associated with Shenzhen legal residence (hu@u) created fundamental distinctions between Shenzheners and rural workers, distinctions that predicated a Chinese “competitive advantage” in the world capitalist system.* Consequently, the material interests of Shenzheners overlapped with those of the Chinese state and global capital in ways that facilitated an alliance between the state apparatus and international capital. In contrast, the experience of temporary residents, especially rural workers, reminds us of Aijaz Ahmad’s formulation that “[the] structural inability of capitalism to provide for the vast majority of the populations which it has sucked into its own dominion constitutes the basic, incurable flaw in the system as a whole.”3 By opposing state representations of immigration to Shenzhen

Journal

positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Sep 1, 1999

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