The Narrative Construction of Fang-Nu (房奴): An Urban Identity in Post-Modern China

  • Shiao-Yun Chiang


This chapter provides an ethnographic study of how an urban identity, “fang-nu”, is discursively constructed in the stories of homeownership on Chinese social media. Many homebuyers in China describe themselves as fang-nu (房奴), which literally means “house slave” as they feel like a slave to the house they bought due to the excessive monthly mortgage installments. Drawing on the ethnography of communication, this study examines participants’ stories of home-buying experiences and feelings in a virtual community and explicates the social psychological states of urban Chinese as revealed in their discursive presentation of an urban identity—fang-nu.


Urban Identity Social Psychological States Urban Chinese Social mediaSocial Media Virtual Communities 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shiao-Yun Chiang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Communication & MediaState University of New YorkOneontaUSA

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