Di Wang

The Return of Public Life. The Teahouse, Urban Citizens, and Socialist State in Post-Mao China

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Public Life; Teahouses; Chengdu; Post-Mao China.

Political transformation since the late 1970s significantly modified economic and public life as the state relaxed control over the private sector in industry and commerce. The resulting development of private business also allowed for the revival of teahouses, which emerged across the landscape like mushrooms after rain, greatly changing the breadth and depth of public life. Teahouses served all kinds of customers across the social spectrum. Post-Mao reforms weakened state control, enriched opportunities for social life, developed cultural diversity, and expanded the public sphere. Teahouses provided gathering places for the sharing of hobbies and general socializing, providing a welcoming environment regardless of social status, class, gender, and age. As both a business and a culture, the teahouse reached an unprecedented level of success and influence.

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