The Social Life of Opium in China, 1483–1999

  title={The Social Life of Opium in China, 1483–1999},
  author={Yang Zheng},
  journal={Modern Asian Studies},
  pages={1 - 39}
  • Yang Zheng
  • Published 27 January 2003
  • History
  • Modern Asian Studies
The history of opium is a major theme in modern Chinese history. Books and academic careers have been devoted to its study. Yet the question that scholars of the opium wars and of modern China have failed to ask is how the demand for opium was generated. My puzzle, during the initial stage of research, was who smoked opium and why. Neither Chinese nor non-Chinese scholars have written much about this, with the exception of Jonathan Spence. Although opium consumption is a well-acknowledged fact… 

The Venomous Course of Southwestern Opium: Qing Prohibition in Yunnan, Sichuan, and Guizhou in the Early Nineteenth Century

  • D. Bello
  • History
    The Journal of Asian Studies
  • 2003
The opium-smuggling trade that britain pursued on the eastern seacoast of China has become the symbol of China's century-long descent into political and social chaos. In the standard historical

The formation of Chinese conceptions regarding Christianity : a reinterpretation based on the anti-opium movement of the nineteenth century

This thesis is to build bridges between the West and China for a better understanding of the recent history of Christianity in China. Regarding western Christians we have to take into account the two


In the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries, tea and opium were inextricably linked through what was known as the China trade. As significant stimulant commodities on the global market,

Jardine Matheson and Chinese migration in the British Empire, 1833-1853

This thesis examines the role of the British merchant firm Jardine, Matheson & Co. (Jardine Matheson) in promoting and facilitating Chinese migration into and around the British Empire between 1833

Drugs, Consumption, and Supply in Asia: The Case of Cocaine in Colonial India, c. 1900–c. 1930

  • J. Mills
  • History
    The Journal of Asian Studies
  • 2007
This account of a significant market for a powerful new drug in India during the early twentieth century suggests that Indian society was able to rapidly develop a demand for such products even when the colonial state had no part in their introduction.

Decolonising drugs in Asia: the case of cocaine in colonial India

  • J. Mills
  • History
    Third world quarterly
  • 2018
It is argued that the agendas and agency of consumers are central to understanding why markets have formed there for psychoactive substances in the modern period.

Poppies without Borders: Notes for a Eurasian History of Opium

This article examines opium prohibition as a component of Eurasian imperial state-building. This comparative study of prohibition problems in British India and Qing China in the early 1800s reveals

Liberals and barbarians

Yuanmingyuan was the palace of the emperor of China, but that is a hope-lessly deficient description since it was not just a palace but instead a large compound filled with hundreds of different



Suicide and the Family in Pre-modern Chinese Society

If we survey the act of suicide across a broad span of pre-modern Chinese history, we find that it provides an intriguing intersection point at which so-called “normal” and “deviant” behavior

Deviant Marriage Patterns in Chinese Society

The basic concerns of anthropology are cross-cultural understanding of other peoples, analyzing other societies and investigating other ways of life. One of the things which confuses attempts to do

Away from Nanking Road: Small Stores and Neighborhood Life in Modern Shanghai

As china's leading “treaty port” city, Shanghai has long been stereotyped as the prime bridgehead for foreign encroachment on China and as the most westernized city of the country (Tang and Shen

The social life of things: Introduction: commodities and the politics of value

This essay has two aims. The first is to preview and set the context for the essays that follow it in this volume. The second is to propose a new perspective on the circulation of commodities in

Beyond the Neon Lights: Everyday Shanghai in the Early Twentieth Century

How did ordinary people live through the extraordinary changes that have swept across modern China? How did peasants transform themselves into urbanites? How did the citizens of Shanghai cope with

Peking: A Social Survey.