Capital-linked migrants in Shanghai (completed)

Weishan Huang

This project looks at religions as part of everyday life in Shanghai under the magnificent transition of the intersection of economic open-up and social changes in last few decades in China, particularly how capital-linked migrants influence the religious landscape in Shanghai. My first attempt is to understand the changes of religious practices and discourses among immigrant and local practitioners.  While previous scholarship pays much attention to the relationship between Christianity and economic activities, this research will focus on both Buddhism and Christianity and economic activities in Shanghai. My second attempt is to understand the state-society relation from the grassroots level and to interpret the inconsistency of the “state-religion” relationship in China. Most current scholars tempt to look at the practices of the central state, but fail to interpret the inconsistency among various religions in many different regions. This research tends to look at the Chinese state as more than a totality of regime, but multilayer authorities in local levels in a transitional society. Examining the case study at the grassroots level will offer us a different view of the inconsistency of state practices toward religions and some basic understandings of religious practices in daily life in Shanghai. Ethnography will be the major research method.

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