Skip to main content

Please note: this event has passed

Book Launch & Panel Discussion

The Lau China Institute, in partnership with Global Health and Social Medicine, is delighted to invite you to this book launch and panel discussion on Anxious China.

The breathless pace of China’s economic reform has brought about deep ruptures in socioeconomic structures and people’s inner landscape. Faced with increasing market-driven competition and profound social changes, more and more middle-class urbanites are turning to Western-style psychological counseling to grapple with their mental distress. This book, by Dr Li Zhang, offers an in-depth ethnographic account of how an unfolding “inner revolution” is reconfiguring selfhood, psyche, family dynamics, sociality, and the mode of governing in post-socialist times. Li Zhang shows that anxiety—broadly construed in both medical and social terms—has become a powerful indicator for the general pulse of contemporary Chinese society. 

Anxious China Book Cover
Anxious China Book Cover

Following a presentation by Li Zhang, we will be joined by a panel of renowned experts in the fields of mental health, psychology, Chinese sociology and anthropology to discuss the modern challenges of China's approach to mental health care.

The event will also feature a special guest, Professor Sandra Hyde from McGill University.

About the Author

Li Zhang is Professor of Anthropology at University of California at Davis. Li's research concerns the social, political, spatial, and psychological repercussions of market reforms and postsocialist transformations in China. Her earlier work traces the profound reconfigurations of space, power, and social networks within China's "floating population." Her second book examines the privatization of homeownership, city planning, and the remaking of the new middle classes. Her recent book explores how an unfolding "inner revolution" brought by an emergent psychotherapy movement reconfigures selfhood, family dynamics, and modes of governing in an anxious China. Currently she is working on a new project on the ethical and technological challenges of massive aging and eldercare by focusing on the problem of the increasing age-based digital divide.

She served as Interim Dean of the Division of Social Sciences (2015-17), Chair of Anthropology Department (2011-15), and Director of East Asian Studies Program (2003-06) at UCD, and President of the Society for East Asian Anthropology (2013-15).

At this event

Kerry Brown

Director, Lau China Institute

Professor Nick Manning

Professor of Sociology

Dr Dörte Bemme

Lecturer in Society and Mental Health