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Loretta Lou is a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Macau and a Visiting Fellow in Anthropology at the London School of Economics. Trained in anthropology, her research interests lie in the areas of environment, well-being, social movements, morality, and ethics. Geographically she focuses on China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

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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