By Julie Y. Chu
Yr after 12 months a girl sits in her naked dwelling quarters together with her luggage packed. She is looking ahead to a mobilephone name from her snakehead, or human smuggler. That longed-for name will ship her out her door, clear of Fuzhou, China, on a dangerous, illicit trip to the U.S.. not anything diffuses the promise of an in another country future: neither the ever-increasing smuggling rate for winning shuttle nor her wisdom of the lethal hazards in transit and the exploitative exertions stipulations in a foreign country. The experience of coming near near departure enchants her each circulation and overshadows the banalities of her current existence. during this engrossing ethnographic account of ways the Fuzhounese translate their wishes for mobility into initiatives worthy pursuing, Julie Y. Chu specializes in Fuzhounese efforts to recast their social horizons past the restrictions of “peasant lifestyles” in China. Transcending utilitarian questions of hazards and rewards, she considers the overflow of aspirations within the Fuzhounese pursuit of transnational locations. Chu attends not only to the migration of our bodies, but additionally to flows of transport boxes, planes, baggage, immigration papers, funds, nutrition, prayers, and gods. through studying the intersections and disjunctures of those numerous flows, she explains how mobility operates as an indication embodied via daily encounters and within the transactions of folks and issues.
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Extra resources for Cosmologies of Credit: Transnational Mobility and the Politics of Destination in China
They also highlighted the complexities of religious revitalization as a kind of collective, forward-looking project among villagers. In particular, through their unremorseful enthusiasm for the tearing down and complete rebuilding of ritual spaces-regardless of "historical value"-villagers promoted their temples and their gods not as nostalgic bearers of "traditional" morals and lifestyles but rather as the crucial vanguards of modern, cosmopolitan ways. As villagers understood them, gods were fundamentally coeval subjects who both inhabited and exceeded the same spatial and temporal spheres as their worshippers.
Still, villagers held even higher hopes for the new highway running through the middle of their landscape, which was in the last stages of completion at the end of the summer of 2002. Where I saw air pollution, traffic congestion, and other environmental hazards, people glimpsed the promise of greater embodied mobility and social connectedness and, moreover, the hope for recentering their social world as a locality of extended reach and import. Whatever nostalgia I felt for the soon-to-be outmoded village landscape and pace of life seemed quite unwarranted to these no-nonsense, modern(izing) villagers.
42 CHAPTER ONE TO BE EMPLACED 43 quarters and ways of habitation were without access to overseas connections. On the streets, the vacant interiors of these mansions served as embodied reminders of the superior mobility of absent owners with dual residences abroad and in Longyan, while others remained stuck within the confining boundaries of the village. People also imagined that those living abroad must reside in housing as spacious and luxurious as the mansions they built for themselves in Longyan.
Cosmologies of Credit: Transnational Mobility and the Politics of Destination in China by Julie Y. Chu