Between 1988 and 2013, the Chinese city of Zouping transformed from an impoverished town of 30,000 people to a bustling city of over 300,000, complete with factories, high rises, parks, shopping malls, and all the infrastructure of a wealthy East Asian city. FromVillage toCity paints a vivid portrait of the rapid changes in Zouping and its environs and in the lives of the once-rural people who live there.
Despite the benefits of modernization and an improved standard of living for many of its residents, Zouping is far from a utopia; its inhabitants face new challenges and problems such as alienation, class formation and exclusion, and pollution. As he explores the city’s transformation, Andrew B. Kipnis develops a new theory of urbanization in this compelling portrayal of an emerging metropolis and its people.
"Kipnis successfully engages with how despair, hope, expectations and bitterness shape the lives of his interlocutors in Zouping and how these conditions unfold within the processes of spatial transformation."—New Books Asia
"From Village to City is a refreshing change from the majority of studies of Chinese cities, which are still focused on large metropolises. Moreover, the theoretical insights are a valuable contribution to understanding how Chinese urbanization, unprecedented around the world in its scale and speed, incorporates and reworks historical tradition, rather than simply obliterating it."—Journal of Asian Studies
“This is a solid investigative study of why cities grow and decline. Unlike existing research on urbanization in China, Andrew B. Kipnis’s book explores urban life among China's smaller, more marginal cities and brings order and relevance to a complex topic.”—William R. Jankowiak, Barrick Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
“This book stands out as one of the first anthropological works focused on the urbanization of a nonmetropolitan Chinese city. This study is both timely and important.”—Yunxiang Yan, Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles
“Kipnis's unique approach to studying urbanization in China will be important reading not just for China experts, but more broadly for urban theorists, geographers, and social scientists.”—Stephan Feuchtwang, Professor of Anthropology, London School of Economics