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Lijiang, a once-sleepy market town in southwest China, has become a magnet for tourism since the mid-1990s. Drawing on stories about taxi drivers, reluctant brides, dog-meat, and shamanism, Emily Chao illustrates how bio-politics and the essentialization of difference shape the ways in which Naxi residents represent and interpret their social world. The vignettes presented here are lively examples of the cultural reverberations that have occurred throughout contemporary China in the wake of its emergence as a global giant. With particular attention to the politics of gender, ethnicity, and historical representation, Chao reveals how citizens strategically imagine, produce, and critique a new moral economy in which the market and neoliberal logic are preeminent. Emily Chao is professor of anthropology at Pitzer College, Claremont, California.