China's Shanzhai Culture:‘Grabism’ and the politics of hybridity

Chubb, Andrew (2015) China's Shanzhai Culture:‘Grabism’ and the politics of hybridity. Journal of Contemporary China, 24 (92). pp. 260-279. ISSN 1067-0564

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Abstract

This article focuses on the broad spread of shanzhai culture in 2008, exploring the central question: what is it that brings such disparate phenomena together under one label? Shanzhai things have typically emerged from new spaces for participation in production beyond the control of formerly monopolistic authorities. But things are not necessarily shanzhai by birth, for it is also an identity affixed to things by consumers. The shanzhai identity's inherent ambiguity—almost the same but not quite—brings with it a dimension of disruption of authority (cf. Bhabha), but its political standpoints are elusive. Using insights from hybridity theory, this article characterizes shanzhai as a contemporary successor to what Lu Xun termed Grabism: the active reappropriation of economic and cultural authority for diverse local purposes, which have themselves been shaped and redefined by those same authorities.

Item Type: Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Contemporary China
Uncontrolled Keywords: /dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3305
Subjects:
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Politics & International Relations (Merged into PPR 2010-08-01)
ID Code: 133294
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 21 May 2019 10:35
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2020 05:23
URI: https://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/133294

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