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The Living Tree: The Changing Meaning of Being Chinese Todayby Wei Ming Tu
Synopses & Reviews
The underlying themes of this volume are the relations between a central cultural core, situated in China, and the various peripheral communities around the world where large numbers of Chinese have settled, and the way those relations have changed over time. What does it mean today to be Chinese? These questions have many dimensions, which are addressed in varied ways by eleven of the leading scholars of Chinese intellectual life from several parts of the globe. In the twentieth century, China experienced a level of cultural confusion it had never before known. One product of the 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.
What does it mean today to be Chinese? Whether in China or Chinatown, eleven of the leading scholars of Chinese intellectual life consider this question.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -288) and index.
Table of Contents
1. Cultural China: the periphery as the center Tu Wei-ming; 2. The inner world of 1830 Mark Elvin; 3. No solace from Lethe: history, memory, and cultural identity in twentieth-century China Vera Schwarcz; 4. Being Chinese: the peripheralization of traditional identity Myron L. Cohen; 5. Kuan-hsi and network building: a sociological interpretation Ambrose Yeo-chi King; 6. Among non-Chinese Wang Gungwu; 7. The construction of Chinese and non-Chinese identities David Yen-ho Wu; 8. The 'evil wife' in contemporary Chinese fiction Zhu Hong; 9. Roots and the changing identity of the Chinese in the United States L. Ling-chi Wang; 10. From Qiao to Qiao Victor Hao Li; 11. On the margins of the Chinese discourse: some personal thoughts on the cultural meaning of the periphery Leo Ou-fan Lee; Glossary; Notes; Index.
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