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Shame, Face and Social Relations in Northern China: Ramifications for Social Assistance Provision

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 October 2019

Lichao Yang
Affiliation:
Beijing Normal University. Email: yanglichao@bnu.edu.cn.
Robert Walker
Affiliation:
Beijing Normal University.
Jian Xie
Affiliation:
Guizhou Education University. Email: xie.jian.gznc@qq.com.

Abstract

While it is increasingly recognized that shame is a pernicious component of the experience of poverty, the stigma generally associated with social assistance provision is less marked with respect to China's Minimum Living Security System, also known as dibao. This enigma is explored and illuminated drawing on two streams of indigenous Chinese scholarship and qualitative fieldwork in eight villages in Shanxi province. Economic and political changes prioritizing economic growth and individual wealth have increased the shame associated with poverty, manifest as loss of face, low mian (status) and lack of lian (integrity). However, this shame does not transfer to dibao because the scheme has been transformed locally into a universal age supplement that partially fulfils the demands of filial piety and which is seen to reflect and contribute to guanxi (social influence).

摘要

摘要

既有研究发现耻感是贫困的核心特征之一,但是目前学界对中国的最低生活保障制度(低保)与耻感的关注较少。本研究从中国本土理论出发,以山西省北部的八个村庄为质性研究案例,研究探讨以上问题。研究发现,改革开放以后,经济增长和个体致富显著深化了与贫困相关的耻感,具体表现为 “丢脸” 和 “丢面子”。然而,耻感并未体现在低保政策中,因为低保在地方实践中被实施为普惠型的养老补贴,这与 “孝” 的伦理概念相一致,体现了中国独特的社会关系及其变迁。

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © SOAS University of London 2019

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