This paper argues that choice and autonomy constitute important new techniques of governing in late-socialist China. College students no longer receive direct state job assignments upon graduation, going instead to job fairs where they experience a degree of autonomy from state planning organs that was not available under high socialism's central planning. Yet even as post-Mao governmental rationalities have promoted autonomous decisions, young professionals' experiences of choice have remained framed within notions of social responsibility and patriotism. This paper examines how both neoliberal governmentality and a nationalism steeped in Maoist notions of state strength, achieved today through reform-era economic competitiveness, are intertwined in the emergence of what is called 'patriotic professionalism'.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/lisa_hoffman/3/