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Prototype NationChina and the Contested Promise of Innovation$
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Silvia M. Lindtner

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691207674

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691207674.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

China’s Entrepreneurial Factory

China’s Entrepreneurial Factory

The Violence of Happiness

(p.172) 6 China’s Entrepreneurial Factory
Prototype Nation

Silvia M. Lindtner

Princeton University Press

This chapter documents the appropriation of making by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party). This manifested in infrastructural and urban upgrades aimed at inducing desires for self-transformation in Chinese citizens. The chapter draws from ethnographic research conducted with the workers, designers, and managers in Shenzhen's manufacturing industry, documenting their ambivalent relationship to the “invention” of Shenzhen as a maker city. It shows that by positing certain urban spaces as sites of making and as the ideal training ground for happiness and self-investment, the government aimed to induce in the workers, designers, and engineers of China's manufacturing industry desires to upgrade themselves. The chapter also details the slow violence at the heart of contemporary displacements of technological promise.

Keywords:   Chinese Communist Party, urban upgrades, infrastructural upgrades, Chinese citizens, Shenzhen, Chinese manufacturing industry, maker city, self-investment, technological promise

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