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Lies That Bind / Edition 1
     

Lies That Bind / Edition 1

by Susan D. Blum
 

ISBN-10: 0742554058

ISBN-13: 9780742554054

Pub. Date: 02/01/2007

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

This provocative book explores the ideology of truth and deception in China, offering a nuanced perspective on social interaction in different cultural settings. Drawing on decades of fieldwork in China, Susan D. Blum offers an authoritative examination of rules, expectations, and beliefs regarding lying and honesty in society. Blum points to a propensity for

Overview

This provocative book explores the ideology of truth and deception in China, offering a nuanced perspective on social interaction in different cultural settings. Drawing on decades of fieldwork in China, Susan D. Blum offers an authoritative examination of rules, expectations, and beliefs regarding lying and honesty in society. Blum points to a propensity for deception in Chinese public interactions in situations where people in the United States would expect truthfulness, yet argues that lying is evaluated within Chinese society by moral standards different from those of Americans. Chinese, for example, might emphasize the consequences of speech, Americans the absolute truthfulness. Blum considers the longstanding values that led to this style of interaction, as well as more recent factors, such as the government's control over expression. But Chinese society is not alone in the practice of such customs. The author observes that many Americans also excel in manipulation of language, yet find a simultaneous moral absolutism opposed to lying in any form. She also considers other traditions, including Japanese and Jewish, that struggle to control the boundaries of lying, balancing human needs with moral values in contrasting ways. Deception and lying, the book concludes, are distinctively cultural yet universal—inseparable from what it is to be a human being equipped with language in all its subtlety.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780742554054
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
02/01/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
242
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.22(h) x 0.84(d)

Table of Contents

Part I: Deception and Truth
Chapter 1: Truth, Lying, and Deception: Blum's Maxims for China
Part II: China Present
Chapter 2: Tricks and Traps: Deception and Protective Cleverness
Chapter 3: For Their Own Good: Benevolent Deception and Flattery
Chapter 4: State Secrets and Fakes: The True, the Real, the Transparent, and the Squelched
Chapter 5: Longing for Honesty
Part III: China Past
Chapter 6: Crooked and Straight: Right Action and Strategy in Premodern China
Chapter 7: A Social Theory of Truth: Language in Revolutionary China
Part IV: Humanity and Language
Chapter 8: Truth and Deception across Time and Space
Chapter 9: Knowing How to Play with Words and Minds
Appendix: Theoretical Foundations and Implications

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