Author Archives: elenakayes

About elenakayes

The key to understanding exists at the nexus where self-interest and practice meet power and policy; I explore this nexus through participatory field research.

What about the Family Pig Farms?

My mandarin teacher recently invited me to accompany her back to her village for the weekend. I jumped at the opportunity. Not only because I’ll take any chance for a new insight to life in the countryside, but especially because … Continue reading

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China’s Urbanization: The Next Challenge (Challenge for Whom?)

My advisor recently invited me to be his guest at the University of Virginia’s opening ceremony for their new China Office in Shanghai. Then, at the last moment, he bailed on attending. This was fine with me, as it wouldn’t … Continue reading

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Suichang Part III: Spring Festival 2015

Today I caught a ride back to Hangzhou from Suichang with my research partner and his father. During the drive, his father said to me ‘China’s development is happening too quickly, and our traditions are being destroyed in the process. … Continue reading

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“Seeking Truth From Fact” Part III: Gaoping’s E-commerce Shop

I felt conflicted about how to write this post. My previous two posts on Gaoping’s peasant tourism association and organic food cooperative were easy, feel-good, ‘hooray-for-rural-alternativist-values’ stories of grassroots cooperative institutions that integrate the needs and interests of the local … Continue reading

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