Becoming Chinese: Passages to Modernity and Beyond (Studies by Wen-hsin Yeh

By Wen-hsin Yeh

This quantity evaluates the twin roles of conflict and modernity within the transformation of twentieth-century chinese language identification. The members, all prime researchers, argue that struggle, at the least revolution, merits cognizance as an incredible strength within the making of twentieth-century chinese language historical past. additional, they exhibit that modernity in fabric tradition and adjustments in highbrow realization may still function dual foci of a brand new wave of scholarly research. reading specifically the increase of contemporary chinese language towns and the making of the chinese language countryside, the participants to this interdisciplinary quantity of cultural historical past offer new methods of wondering China's sleek transformation as much as the Fifties. Taken jointly, the essays show that the mixed impression of a modernizing kingdom and an industrializing economic climate weakened the chinese language bourgeoisie and undercut the individual's quest for autonomy. Drawing upon new archival assets, those theoretically trained, completely revisionist essays specialize in subject matters similar to Western-inspired modernity, city cosmopolitanism, patron tradition, gender relationships, interchanges among urban and nation-state, and the becoming impression of the country at the lives of participants. the amount makes a huge contribution towards a postsocialist knowing of twentieth-century China.

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Whereas on a lofty level the magazine is supposed to live up to three purposes—scholarly pursuit ( yanjiu xueli ), enlightenment (qifa sixiang), and correction of customs and mores ( jiaozheng xisu)—its real function, on a mundane level, is like that of a grocery store (zahuo dian): the goods are diverse and trivial, seldom precious and valuable, but they are nevertheless daily necessities. 13 As an indication of its “world trends” orientation, the journal devoted considerable attention to the European war—with photos, a chronology of events, articles, and translations.

Klein, Rebels and Bureaucrats: China’s December ers (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, ). . Lucian W. Pye, The Spirit of Chinese Politics (Cambridge: MIT Press, ), xviii. . Fredric Jameson, “Third World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism,” Social Text  (): . Yeh_001_028_intro 12/27/99 8:51 AM Page 28  INTRODUCTION . Note that Wang Hui’s treatment of authoritarianism in Chinese culture is different from Madsen’s, which postulates respect for authority as a traditional Chinese cultural trait.

Moral degeneration, emotional weakness, failure to resist colonialism, and evidence of wavering and withdrawal were the sins of men but not women. The war, Pickowicz notes, appeared to have brought out the best in Chinese women and the worst in Chinese men. The strain placed on patriarchal order in moments of national distress might have brought forth admirable heroines, discredited male characters, and disrupted the familial institutions. But it did not necessarily delegitimize patriarchal authority, nor did it endow women with greater autonomy.

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