Loretta I. T. Lou is Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick and a Postdoctoral Associate at Oxford’s Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology. Loretta’s research interests lie in the areas of the environment, health, science and technology studies, social movements, and social changes in Greater China, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

In the Absence of a Peasantry, What, Then, Is a Hong Kong Farmer?

Given the social and political significance of ‘the peasant’ (nongmin) in modern Chinese history, it is surprising that the term nongmin is largely absent in Hong Kong, where discourses about individual farmers (nongfu) are far more prevalent. In tracing the modern etymology of Chinese peasants and the history of Hong Kong agriculture, this essay argues that the lack of ‘class’ consciousness makes Hong Kong farmers even more vulnerable to the unceasing wave of urban sprawl.

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