The Living Tree: The Changing Meaning of Being Chinese Today

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9780804721370: The Living Tree: The Changing Meaning of Being Chinese Today

Growing out of a highly acclaimed issue of Daedalus (Spring 1991), this volume explores the emergence of a cultural space that both encompasses and transcends the ethnic, territorial, linguistic, and religious boundaries that normally define Chineseness. By challenging the hegemonic discourse of the political core in Beijing, this newly constructed cultural space opens up exciting possibilities for concerned intellectuals worldwide as well as peripheral Chinese communities around the globe to provide inside perspectives on the meaning of being Chinese. Eleven leading scholars of Chinese society have imaginatively articulated the ambiguities and implications of this cultural space as a historically significant phenomenon. In the twentieth century, China experienced a level of cultural confusion it had never before known, as revolution, war, economic dislocation, and political authoritarianism took a heavy toll. One product of almost continual turmoil was an unprecedented rate of emigration. Another was the challenging of traditional Chinese culture by several Western ideologies, including Marxism. The whole concept of modernity, with all its ambiguities, had profound effects on many aspects of the Chinese world, both in China and abroad. These essays attempt to illuminate how the events of the twentieth century in China affected the Chinese living outside China and suggest important reciprocal influences. Among the topics discussed are the long-range historical influence of the overseas Chinese, the relationship between ordinary Chinese and their leaders, a comparison of Han and non-Han cultural identities, the meaning of being a Chinese exile, the Chinese experience of living among non-Chinese, the Asian American experience, the "evil wife" in contemporary Chinese fiction, and, in a glance backward, what it meant to be Chinese before the invasion of the West.

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About the Author:

Tu Wei-ming, a Confucian scholar, is Professor of Chinese History and Philosophy at Harvard University.

Review:

'What does it mean to be Chinese? The contributors examine modern literature, intellectual movements, and overseas Chinese communities to contribute to an ongoing conversation on 'Chineseness' and its future. Despite the complexity and emotional depth of this reflective, scholarly work, readers will find some clear answers.' Asiaweek

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Editore: Stanford University Press (1995)
ISBN 10: 0804721378 ISBN 13: 9780804721370
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Editore: Stanford University Press (1995)
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Descrizione libro Stanford University Press, 1995. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria M0804721378

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Editore: Stanford University Press
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