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Anders Sybrandt Hansen

Caring for strangers under market socialism

Anders Sybrandt Hansen: Caring for strangers under market socialism

Since the 2008 discovery that dairy companies operating in China had been producing melamine contaminated baby formula on an industrial scale to boost the protein content – and hence profit - of their product, the Chinese public has witnessed a series of food scandals. This has a highly deleterious effect on social trust and reinforces suspicion towards strangers. In response to the food safety crisis, alternative food supply chains are developing in the vicinity of urban centers such as Beijing with the intent of integrating strangers in a community of care. The subproject involves historical comparison and fieldwork among farmers. It investigates how the moral ideas and practices that drive care for strangers develop under the inimical conditions of market socialism that place strangers in constant, anxious contact through the market.