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Understanding Chaoben Culture
In this exciting book, Ronald Suleski introduces daily life for the common people of China in the century from 1850 to 1950. They were semi-literate, yet they have left us written accounts of their hopes, fears, and values. They have left us the hand-written manuscripts ( chaoben 抄本) now flooding the antiques markets in China. These documents represent a new and heretofore overlooked category of historical sources.
Suleski gives a detailed explanation of the interaction of chaoben with the lives of the people. He offers examples of why they were so important to the poor laboring masses: people wanted horoscopes predicting their future, information about the ghosts causing them headaches, a few written words to help them trade in the rural markets, and many more examples are given. The book contains a special appendix giving the first complete translation into English of a chaoben describing the ghosts and goblins that bedeviled the poor working classes.
Signs & Media is a peer-reviewed, academic journal focused on semiotics and media studies, two fields that complement each other. The journal includes full-length research articles, review articles, short communications, or such other materials which explore the linguistic, philosophical, sociological, anthropological, and other scientific dimensions of semiotics and media studies. With the radical changes of the forms of media and communications in the modern society, as well as the dazzling spectacles of signs, symbols, and texts being produced, read, and interpreted in this cyber age of globalisation, Signs & Media seeks to promote the developments of semiotics in China by breaking its confinements to linguistics and embracing the traditional sign theories in China and East Asia as well as the international trends in contemporary semiotics.
The journal is relevant to researchers and practitioners of semiotics and media studies who are interested in the generation and mechanism of meaning, as well as the structure of communications through all forms of media. The journal constitutes a unique scholarly platform for scholars from a range of academic backgrounds, including but not limited to literature, linguistics, cultural studies, communicology, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, cognitive sciences and biology.

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