Suzhi on the Move: Body, Place and Power

Duke University Press
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Positions: East Asia cultures critique, 2009, 17 (3), pp. 617 - 642
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During three months of fieldwork in Beijing in 2005, I rented an apartment in an eighteen-story residential compound (xiaoqu). On my first day, while waiting for the lift, I overheard two residents chatting. From what they were saying, I gathered that one of them was an information technology (IT) consultant. So while we traveled in the lift together, I asked him if he knew what I would need to do to access a local dial-up service. He gave me some advice, and I thanked him for doing so. But just before he stepped out of the lift, he turned and suddenly asked me, Where do you come from? Not wanting to hold up the lift for too long I gave him a short but true answer: I said I came from Anhui. He looked puzzled, Are you for real? Yes, of course. Why do you ask? I replied. Well, I didnt think an Anhui person would need to know anything about Internet dial-up!
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