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School killings in China: society or wilderness?

Steinmüller, Hans and Fei, Wu (2011) School killings in China: society or wilderness? Anthropology Today, 27 (1). pp. 10-13. ISSN 1467-8322

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Between March and May 2010 a series of school killings took place in mainland China. This article explores media discourses on the school killings and examines three cases in detail. It connects the search for underlying reasons and responsible authorities in relation to the murders with the wider search for ‘society’ in contemporary China, and concludes by emphasizing the gap between the official promotion of the idea of ‘society’ as a cohesive moral community and a parallel popular understanding of the contemporary Chinese social world as a savage wilderness.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 Royal Anthropological Institute
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Departments > Anthropology
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2011 09:21

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