The breathless pace of China's economic reform has brought about deep ruptures in socioeconomic structures and people's inner landscape. Faced with increasing market-driven competition and profound social changes, more and more middle-class urbanites are turning to Western-style psychological counseling to grapple with their mental distress. This book offers an in-depth ethnographic account of how an unfolding inner revolution is reconfiguring selfhood, psyche, family dynamics, sociality, and the mode of governing in post-socialist times. Li Zhang shows that anxiety-broadly construed in both medical and social terms-has become a powerful indicator for the general pulse of contemporary Chinese society. It is in this particular context that Zhang traces how a new psychotherapeutic culture takes root, thrives, and transforms itself across a wide range of personal, social, and political domains.
University of California Press
Country of Publication:
04 August 2020
List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Psy Fever 2. Bentuhua: Culturing Psychotherapy 3. Therapeutic Relationships with Chinese Characteristics? 4. Branding the Satir Model 5. Crafting a Therapeutic Self 6. Cultivating Happiness 7. Therapeutic Governing Epilogue Notes References Index
Li Zhang is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of two award-winning books, Strangers in the City and In Search of Paradise.
Reviews for Anxious China: Inner Revolution and Politics of Psychotherapy
While grounded in the ethnographic specificities of middle-class Chinese urbanites, Anxious China offers powerful insights to scholars working on similar questions in diverse regions of the world. * Somatosphere *