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Articulating Citizenship: Civic Education and Student Politics in Southeastern China, 1912-1940

Articulating Citizenship: Civic Education and Student Politics in Southeastern China, 1912-1940

by Robert CulpRobert Culp


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At the genesis of the Republic of China in 1912, many political leaders, educators, and social reformers argued that republican education should transform China's people into dynamic modern citizens—social and political agents whose public actions would rescue the national community. Over subsequent decades, however, they came to argue fiercely over the contents of citizenship and how it should be taught. Moreover, many of their carefully crafted policies and programs came to be transformed by textbook authors, teachers, administrators, and students. Furthermore, the idea of citizenship, once introduced, raised many troubling questions. Who belonged to the national community in China, and how was the nation constituted? What were the best modes of political action? How should modern people take responsibility for "public matters"? What morality was proper for the modern public?

This book reconstructs civic education and citizenship training in secondary schools in the lower Yangzi region during the Republican era. It also analyzes how students used the tools of civic education introduced in their schools to make themselves into young citizens and explores the complex social and political effects of educated youths' civic action.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674025875
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 11/30/2007
Series: Harvard East Asian Monographs , #291
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Robert Culp is Associate Professor of History at Bard College.

Table of Contents

Tables, Map, and Fibres     xv
Abbreviations     xvii
Introduction     1
The Ideological Infrastructure of Citizenship: Schools and Publishing     19
Nation as Race, Culture, or Place? The National Community in History and Geography Textbooks     55
Practicing Politics: Student Self-government and Civic Republicanism     97
Cultural Revolution and the Social Organism     131
Tempering Bodies, Molding Moral Characters: Training, Cultivation, and Cultural Citizenship     163
From Mobilization to Routinization: Transformations of Civic Ritual and Performative Citizenship     209
Enacting Citizenship: Youth Activism and National Politics     242
Conclusion: The Trajectory of Modern Chinese Citizenship     277
A Statistical Portrait of Lower Yangzi Region Secondary Schools and Students During the Republican Period     303
Capsule Biographies of Selected Textbook Authors     305
Reference Matter
Bibliographic Essay     313
Works Cited     325
Index     371

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