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Drink Water, but Remember the SourceMoral Discourse in a Chinese Village$
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Ellen Oxfeld

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520260948

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520260948.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

“Money Causes Trouble”

“Money Causes Trouble”

(p.197) Chapter 7 “Money Causes Trouble”
Drink Water, but Remember the Source

Ellen Oxfeld

University of California Press

This chapter looks at the meanings of wealth and the expectations surrounding wealth in Moonshadow Pond. The divergent discourses about wealth and class circulate in the village. A person might emphasize class commonalities among villagers in one particular context, while in another context draw attention to wealth differences within the same group. People make both implicit and explicit moral judgments about the inequalities in contemporary society, as well as about the obligations of particular individuals with respect to their specific roles. At the end of the chapter, it asks if there are any unifying expectations beneath the many voices villagers use to talk about disparities in wealth in the reform era. The chapter concludes with a story that circulated around the village in 1996 (the story of Jintao's ring). It is illustrative of moral discourse in the village with respect to its presentation of the obligations in morality of wealth.

Keywords:   wealth, expectations, Moonshadow Pond, class, obligations, Jintao, village, morality

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