Goudui and the State: Constructing Entrepreneurial Masculinity in Two Cosmopolitan Areas of Post-Socialist China

  • Everett Yuehong Zhang


I was talking to Li Wendong, CEO of a large private enterprise in a southern province of China, one afternoon in the summer of 1995.2 He was in his mid-30s and claimed to own assets worth over U.S. $250 million. He was talking resolutely about what he planned to invest in during the coming years. He had become one of the wealthiest persons in his province and seemed to know no limit to the potential of his investment and his ambition. I asked him whether or not he got along with governmental officials and who he liked in his province. He answered, “I like none of them. When I worked for a state-run business in the past, I acted like a taijian (eunuch)! Only since I started my own business have I gained my own independent personality.” Echoing Mr. Li’s experience, Mr. Liu, another entrepreneur, recalled that back in the 1970s he was charged with the crime of speculation and ended up in jail twice. “In those days,” he said, “I felt like being shanle.” “Shanle” means yange (castration) in Sichuan dialect.


Private Enterprise Female Body Chinese History Symbolic Order Female Entrepreneur 
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© Dorothy Hodgson 2001

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  • Everett Yuehong Zhang

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