456 China Review International: Vol. 18, No. 4, 2011 exhibit Mountain Patterns, as Harrell asserts with a cynical edge, was an idealistic celebration, not a critical academic analysis of Liangshan life or an argument about the harsh circumstances that have led to the struggles of the people who live there. e Th y had, he reflectively observes, promoted healers they would never rely upon to cure their own children, and they let sexist institutions go unchallenged. Harrell, Bamo, and Ma needed and wanted to put aside the “heartbreak and despair” (p. 284) in favor of a victory lap, an occasion to dress up an amazing act of cultural survival in the face of the world that might not notice it otherwise. In sum, this book is not just a supplement to an ethnography, but also a study in its own right of how ethnographic projects may work in the future. If you object to transnational social relations being as important as the cultures themselves, stick with Ways of Being Ethnic, but you may miss the boat. Mary Scoggin Mary Scoggin is a professor of anthropology and Chinese studies at Humboldt State University, with a research specialty in contemporary Chinese media.
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jan 30, 2014