A Chinese Beggars' Den: Poverty and Mobility in an Underclass Community

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9780822985693: A Chinese Beggars' Den: Poverty and Mobility in an Underclass Community

In this fascinating study of a community of Chinese beggars, David Schak offers evidence that challenges widely held theories on poverty. It is a path-breaking, systematic anthropological study that challenges long-held beliefs about poverty, and is one of the few works on beggars available.

Over a period of seven years, Schak's fieldwork uncovers a structure of leadership, organizational methods, and alms-getting tactics. Moreover, certain members became upwardly mobile and able to leave this lifestyle. The severe stigma of gambling, adultery, and failure to marry proved the stimulus for a younger generation to leave begging behind.

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About the Author:

David C. Schak is adjunct associate professor at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.

Review:

“Development studies have tended to ignore beggars as an unproductive social category, but a study of this subcategory of the poor in Taipei shows people with flexibility and creativity in day-to-day strategy, social organization, and macro-social relations. . . . Those concerned with the social mobility of the urban poor will find much of value.”
—World Development

“Interesting and scholarly . . . a contribution to the study of mendicancy and poverty.”
—American Anthropologist

“An important ethnographic look into a community of beggars in northern Taiwan. . . . A major addition to the new but growing literature on poor communities in China, and it contributes importantly to general theories of poverty and mobility.”
—Journal of Asian Studies

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David C. Schak
Published by University of Pittsburgh Press (1988)
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Book Description University of Pittsburgh Press, United States, 1988. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In this fascinating study of a community of Chinese beggars, David Schak offers evidence that challenges widely held theories on poverty. It is a path-breaking, systematic anthropological study that challenges long-held beliefs about poverty, and is one of the few works on beggars available. Over a period of seven years, Schak s fieldwork uncovers a structure of leadership, organizational methods, and alms-getting tactics. Moreover, certain members became upwardly mobile and able to leave this lifestyle. The severe stigma of gambling, adultery, and failure to marry proved the stimulus for a younger generation to leave begging behind. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780822985693

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