Subjective Lives and Economic Transformations in Mongolia
Life in the Gap
Rebecca M. Empson
Almost 10 years ago the mineral-rich country of Mongolia experienced very rapid economic growth, fuelled by China’s need for coal and copper. New subjects, buildings, and businesses flourished, and future dreams were imagined and hoped for. This period of growth is, however, now over. Mongolia is instead facing high levels of public and private debt, conflicts over land and sovereignty, and a changed political climate that threatens its fragile democratic institutions.
Subjective Lives and Economic Transformations in Mongolia details this complex story through the intimate lives of five women. Building on long-term friendships, which span over 20 years, Rebecca documents their personal journeys in an ever-shifting landscape. She reveals how these women use experiences of living a ‘life in the gap’ to survive the hard reality between desired outcomes and their actual daily lives. In doing so, she offers a completely different picture from that presented by economists and statisticians of what it is like to live in this fluctuating extractive economy.
Rebecca M. Empson is Professor of Anthropology at UCL. Alongside teaching in the Department of Anthropology, her research has focused on personhood, ownership, memory and material culture (Harnessing Fortune, 2011), and forms of temporary possession in the global economy (Cultural Anthropology, 2019).
1. When the party was cancelled
2. Democracy and its discontent
3. Loans for care
Format: Open Access PDF
5 colour illustrations
Copyright: © 2020
Publication: June 01, 2020
Series: Economic Exposures in Asia