Remaking Of The Chinese Character And Identity In The 21st Century

Overview

Wenshan Jia demonstrates that a true liberation of Chinese civic discourse can start with a focus on indigenous cultural practices, such as face practices—the understanding that every human face offers a distinct cultural grammar for acting, speaking, and feeling. Chinese character and identity, the author argues, are primarily functions of communication, and as such, these practices are of enormous consequence to the necessary reconstruction of Chinese identity in the changing socioeconomic context of the 21st ...

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Overview

Wenshan Jia demonstrates that a true liberation of Chinese civic discourse can start with a focus on indigenous cultural practices, such as face practices—the understanding that every human face offers a distinct cultural grammar for acting, speaking, and feeling. Chinese character and identity, the author argues, are primarily functions of communication, and as such, these practices are of enormous consequence to the necessary reconstruction of Chinese identity in the changing socioeconomic context of the 21st century. In this way, Jia finds a middle ground between the advocacy of complete Westernization and radical Chinese nationalism: as a pragmatic alternative, communication is key.

Never before has facework research been approached so systematically from the standpoint of its relationship to character and identity. Jia's work substantially advances the literature on Chinese communication and presents a unique perspective on its relationship to social transformation. This new paradigm of facework—including analytical methods such as Circular Questioning in addition to major case studies—challenges traditional views while pointing the way toward a new and valuable social-constructionist view.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

WENSHAN JIA is Assistant Professor of Communication, State University of New York at New Paltz, and was Research Chair of The Association of Chinese Communication Studies.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 1
2 Social Constructionism and Practical Theory: A Theoretical Perspective on Lian/Mian Research 7
3 A Social Reconstruction of Lian/Mian 15
4 Past Studies of Lian/Mian: A Social Constructionist Critique 57
5 Research Methodologies 89
6 Case Study 1: Kneeling Down to Save Face 109
7 Case Study 2: "I Don't Have Face to Meet My Mother" 143
8 A Social Constructionist Model of Lian/Mian Transformation 165
9 A Theoretical Discussion 171
10 Remaking the Chinese Character 179
References 183
Subject Index 193
Author Index 195
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