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The makings of the Subaltern subjects: embodiment, contradictory consciousness and re-hegemonization of the Diaosi in China

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The makings of the Subaltern subjects : embodiment, contradictory consciousness and re-hegemonization of the Diaosi in China. / Sum, Ngai-Ling.

In: Globalizations, Vol. 14, No. 2, 03.2017, p. 298-312.

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@article{3934bc4a15324ee1b15fe655b55b7ee4,
title = "The makings of the Subaltern subjects: embodiment, contradictory consciousness and re-hegemonization of the Diaosi in China",
abstract = "This article examines the emergence since 2011 of the {\textquoteleft}Diaosi{\textquoteright} (loser) identity among second-generation migrant workers in China. This subjective identification of a new social category with little hope can be contrasted with the hopeful policy constructions of a strong China eager to promote the civilizing {\textquoteleft}suzhi{\textquoteright} (population quality) of its population nationally and internationally. Yet, as this article shows, in four steps, these phenomena are intertwined. First, it locates the emergence of this {\textquoteleft}Diaosi{\textquoteright} subject in the global and national dialectics of hope in China since the global financial crisis. Second, drawing on neo-Foucauldian and neo-Gramscian scholarship, Diaosi marginality is related to the interactions among global capitalist production, the socialist market economy, continuous state domination via a household registration system (hukou), and the civilising discourse of {\textquoteleft}suzhi{\textquoteright}. Third, it shows how the Diaosi embody their multiplex loser identity and marginality affectively and expressively in their everyday demeanour. Fourth, it examines recent efforts by state/corporate capital and the party-state to re-make and re-hegemonize Diaosi life in the name of consumption, civility, and social stability. The article ends with some neo-Gramscian remarks on the complexities and contradictory consciousness of marginal social categories, such as the Diaosi, and their openness to passive revolution and (re-) hegemonization.",
keywords = "subaltern, Diaosi (loser), Gramsci, China, dialectics of hope, contradictory consciousness, civility, identity, peer-to-peer finance, hegemony, Foucault, passive revolution, financial crisis, biopolitics, suzhi, embodiment, consumption , inequalities",
author = "Ngai-Ling Sum",
year = "2017",
month = mar
doi = "10.1080/14747731.2016.1207936",
language = "English",
volume = "14",
pages = "298--312",
journal = "Globalizations",
issn = "1474-7731",
publisher = "ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD",
number = "2",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - The makings of the Subaltern subjects

T2 - embodiment, contradictory consciousness and re-hegemonization of the Diaosi in China

AU - Sum, Ngai-Ling

PY - 2017/3

Y1 - 2017/3

N2 - This article examines the emergence since 2011 of the ‘Diaosi’ (loser) identity among second-generation migrant workers in China. This subjective identification of a new social category with little hope can be contrasted with the hopeful policy constructions of a strong China eager to promote the civilizing ‘suzhi’ (population quality) of its population nationally and internationally. Yet, as this article shows, in four steps, these phenomena are intertwined. First, it locates the emergence of this ‘Diaosi’ subject in the global and national dialectics of hope in China since the global financial crisis. Second, drawing on neo-Foucauldian and neo-Gramscian scholarship, Diaosi marginality is related to the interactions among global capitalist production, the socialist market economy, continuous state domination via a household registration system (hukou), and the civilising discourse of ‘suzhi’. Third, it shows how the Diaosi embody their multiplex loser identity and marginality affectively and expressively in their everyday demeanour. Fourth, it examines recent efforts by state/corporate capital and the party-state to re-make and re-hegemonize Diaosi life in the name of consumption, civility, and social stability. The article ends with some neo-Gramscian remarks on the complexities and contradictory consciousness of marginal social categories, such as the Diaosi, and their openness to passive revolution and (re-) hegemonization.

AB - This article examines the emergence since 2011 of the ‘Diaosi’ (loser) identity among second-generation migrant workers in China. This subjective identification of a new social category with little hope can be contrasted with the hopeful policy constructions of a strong China eager to promote the civilizing ‘suzhi’ (population quality) of its population nationally and internationally. Yet, as this article shows, in four steps, these phenomena are intertwined. First, it locates the emergence of this ‘Diaosi’ subject in the global and national dialectics of hope in China since the global financial crisis. Second, drawing on neo-Foucauldian and neo-Gramscian scholarship, Diaosi marginality is related to the interactions among global capitalist production, the socialist market economy, continuous state domination via a household registration system (hukou), and the civilising discourse of ‘suzhi’. Third, it shows how the Diaosi embody their multiplex loser identity and marginality affectively and expressively in their everyday demeanour. Fourth, it examines recent efforts by state/corporate capital and the party-state to re-make and re-hegemonize Diaosi life in the name of consumption, civility, and social stability. The article ends with some neo-Gramscian remarks on the complexities and contradictory consciousness of marginal social categories, such as the Diaosi, and their openness to passive revolution and (re-) hegemonization.

KW - subaltern

KW - Diaosi (loser)

KW - Gramsci

KW - China

KW - dialectics of hope

KW - contradictory consciousness

KW - civility

KW - identity

KW - peer-to-peer finance

KW - hegemony

KW - Foucault

KW - passive revolution

KW - financial crisis

KW - biopolitics

KW - suzhi

KW - embodiment

KW - consumption

KW - inequalities

U2 - 10.1080/14747731.2016.1207936

DO - 10.1080/14747731.2016.1207936

M3 - Journal article

VL - 14

SP - 298

EP - 312

JO - Globalizations

JF - Globalizations

SN - 1474-7731

IS - 2

ER -