Anxious China: Inner Revolution and Politics of Psychotherapy (Paperback)

Anxious China: Inner Revolution and Politics of Psychotherapy Cover Image
Email or call for price.


The breathless pace of China’s economic reform has brought about deep ruptures in socioeconomic structures and people’s inner landscape. Faced with increasing market-driven competition and profound social changes, more and more middle-class urbanites are turning to Western-style psychological counseling to grapple with their mental distress. This book offers an in-depth ethnographic account of how an unfolding “inner revolution” is reconfiguring selfhood, psyche, family dynamics, sociality, and the mode of governing in post-socialist times. Li Zhang shows that anxiety—broadly construed in both medical and social terms—has become a powerful indicator for the general pulse of contemporary Chinese society. It is in this particular context that Zhang traces how a new psychotherapeutic culture takes root, thrives, and transforms itself across a wide range of personal, social, and political domains.

About the Author

Li Zhang is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of two award-winning books, Strangers in the City and In Search of Paradise.

Praise For…

"While grounded in the ethnographic specificities of middle-class Chinese urbanites, Anxious China offers powerful insights to scholars working on similar questions in diverse regions of the world."
— Somatosphere

Product Details
ISBN: 9780520344198
ISBN-10: 0520344197
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: August 4th, 2020
Pages: 224
Language: English