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Market Magic: Getting Rich and Getting Personal in Medicine after Mao

Judith Farquhar
American Ethnologist
Vol. 23, No. 2 (May, 1996), pp. 239-257
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/646542
Page Count: 19
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Market Magic: Getting Rich and Getting Personal in Medicine after Mao
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Abstract

Focusing on private medical practices in a north China county town I explore a shift toward the personal in the world of small business and popular healing. In contrast to the mass representation techniques of the currently threatened Maoist state--explored in this article through the figure of Lei Feng, the model soldier--private entrepreneur doctors now seek to embody medicine and health, attracting patients by cultivating personal auras and practicing medicine with touches of magic. China's new culture of "getting rich" invites an ethnography of the individual, the personal, and the embodied, not as a natural foundation of culture but as a particular cultural response to the demise of the pervasive collectivism of the Maoist state. [rural entrepreneurs, magic, state discourses, postsocialism, medical practice]

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