Hong Kong Law Journal,
2021, Vol. 51, Part 2 of 2021, pp. 625-644
Abstract: While many scholars have stressed the role of guanxi in conducting law and society fieldwork in China, rarely explored is the relationship between guanxi and other factors such as social class, gender, overseas status and politics. Drawing on two decades of the author’s experience, this article demonstrates that when guanxi operates across political, social and cultural dimensions, it forms tensions that subtly affect who, how and what we access. We are constantly tested, and there are various pitfalls. This article not only sheds light on the challenges and opportunities when doing fieldwork in China but also reflects on the limitations of the knowledge created.