Don’t Complain; Rely on Yourself: Disability and E-Entrepreneurship in China

When:9 Oct 2017, 4:15pm - 5:45pm
Venue:Morven Brown Room 209
Who:A/Prof. Haiqing Yu
Haiqing Yu

Chinese Studies Seminar Series


Using a comparative analysis of two rural and disabled e-entrepreneurs, the “cheongsam man” and the “nectarine girl,” this article examines China’s e-solutions to disability employment problems in the context of China’s e-commerce boom and its digital inclusion policies. Although gender is clearly a marker in the comparative case studies, this article focuses on a critique of the neoliberal logic of the e-solutions to disability employment. It argues that disabled e-entrepreneurs both subscribe to and challenge the mainstream discourses of guanxi (the necessity for connections) and sushi (eugenic “quality” of the populace). They do so while continuing to be subject to the precarity of e-commerce and e-entrepreneurship as the poster children of the informal digital economy.

About Haiqing Yu

Haiqing Yu is Associate Professor of contemporary Chinese media and culture in the School of Humanities and Languages at UNSW. Her research focuses on the “effect” and “affect” of digitally-mediated social economy, social movements, and cultural transformation. It explores Chinese digital and informal economy, associations, and social activism; rural e-commerce and its impact on gender and ethnicity; social enterprise, digital economy, and disability; social media and the Chinese diaspora. Her published works explored the implications of the Internet and mobile communication on Chinese journalism, youth culture/sexuality, HIV related health communication, and everyday life politics. Her publications include: Media and Cultural Transformation in China (Routledge 2009) and Sex in China (co-author with Elaine Jeffreys, Polity 2015). Haiqing is a CI in ARC DP170102176 “Digital China: From cultural presence to innovative nation”, with M. Keane, et al.; and ARC DP1092878 “Internet History in Australia and the Asia Pacific,” with G. Goggin, et al.

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