The Discourse of Race in Modern China

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This is the first systematic study of a topic which cuts straight through the heart of many aspects of intellectual life in modern China and has hitherto remained unexplored because it has been deemed to be embarrassing and politically unfashionable: the discourse of race. This book looks at the emergence of racial stereotypes during the nineteenth century, the gradual formation of a racial discourse at the turn of the century, the conceptualization of racial nationalism at the beginning of the 1910s, and the ...
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Overview

This is the first systematic study of a topic which cuts straight through the heart of many aspects of intellectual life in modern China and has hitherto remained unexplored because it has been deemed to be embarrassing and politically unfashionable: the discourse of race. This book looks at the emergence of racial stereotypes during the nineteenth century, the gradual formation of a racial discourse at the turn of the century, the conceptualization of racial nationalism at the beginning of the 1910s, and the institutionalization and habituation of this discourse by the academic community in the 1920s and '30s. It also provides the first analysis of eugenics--the pseudo-science of race improvement--in Republican China. The work is based on a wide variety of sources, some hitherto neglected by sinologists, such as primers on anthropology, genetics and eugenics, pamphlets on racial nationalism, medical handbooks, schoolbooks and caricatures. The author first demonstrates that racial categories of analysis were not confined to the edges of Chinese thought systems, but have been widespread and influential during the past century. Secondly, he argues that racial discourse did not result from 'Western influence' but was largely due to endogenous developments which had only a minimal relationship to Western thought. Thirdly, he dispels the myth of Chinese 'cultural universalism' to show that outgroups were often classified according to physical characteristics alleged to be permanent. And finally, he indicates that this discourse did not exist in isolation of social movements but was part of a symbolic universe in perpetual change. Frank Dikotter's conceptual approach is grounded in discourse analysis, social constructivism and intergroup sociology. He makes detailed comparisons with Western notions of race, and approaches a number of related topics such as Occidentalism, non-Darwinian evolutionism, categorical thought, the construction of emotions, and the misuse of
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804719940
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1994
  • Pages: 259

Table of Contents

Preface and acknowledgements
1 Race as Culture: Historical Background 1
The barbarian in the classics 2
The barbarian in mythology 6
Environmental determinism 7
'Raw' and 'cooked' barbarians 8
Skin colour 10
White ash 13
Black coal 14
Anti-Buddhism 18
Song loyalism 20
Anti-Manchuism 25
2 Race as Type (1793-1895) 31
Demonology 36
Teratology 38
Anatomy 41
Geography 48
Typology 51
Miscegenation 57
3 Race as Lineage (1895-1903) 61
Racial war 67
Racial continuity 71
Racial origins 72
Racial extinction 75
Racial classification 77
Racial hierarchy 80
Racial frontiers 82
Racial amalgamation 87
'Western influence' 91
Alternatives 95
4 Race as Nation (1903-1915) 97
Racial evolution 98
Racial preservation 107
Racial ancestry 116
Racial origins 119
Racial nationalism 123
5 Race as Species (1915-1949) 126
Introduction 126
The New Culture Movement 126
Occidentalistn 127
The rise of the press 129
Origins 131
Colour 136
Hair 138
Odour 142
Brain 142
Barbarians 145
Rank 150
Convergences 152
Complexes 155
Struggle 159
Schoolbooks 162
6 Race as Seed (1915-1949) 164
Background 164
Inception 165
Expansion 169
Apogee 177
7 Epilogue: Race as Class (1949-?) 191
Bibliography 197
Character List 235
Index 243
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