Department of Anthropology, College of Liberal Arts
MnDRIVE Areas: Robotics, Global Food
MnDRIVE Human in the Data Fellow, Summer 2021
Between Limited Physical Space and Limitless Digital Space: Shifting Subjectivities within “Taobao Villages” in Contemporary Rural China
Hi! This is Yun Feng from anthropology department of UMN. My project focuses on the socio-economic transformations in “Taobao villages” across rural China spurred by the growth of E-commerce, state-infrastructure investment, and post-socialist neo-liberalization. Interestingly, “Taobao” is not the name of a single village, but thousands of villages who participate in e-commerce on Taobao.com, China’s biggest e-commerce platform. There are 5,424 Taobao villages in China so far, selling agrarian products from land and handicrafts from family workshops online. This interesting combination of rural village and digital technology inspires my interests towards women’s changing perceptions towards space and labor in household workshops at a micro-level, villagers’ shifting subjectivities among peasant, laborer, and e-commerce entrepreneur at a meso-level, and the land displacement and rural relocation in rural development at a macro-level.