Culture and Social Transformations in Reform Era China


In face of rapid social and economic changes since the late 1970s, where is China transforming toward? If culture, in the form values, ideals, and ideological struggles, plays a key role in China’s latest round of social transformations, what are the cultural legacies and resources that are at play and in what ways they do so? This collection of essays aims at addressing these questions. Written by some of the leading intellectuals and thinkers, in and outside of contemporary China, these essays, in different ways, re-examine and reflect on the extent to which three major cultural legacies, namely traditional, May Fourth, and socialist, can function as cultural resources under the changed and changing social and economic conditions of the reform era.
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Biographical Note

Cao Tian Yu, Ph.D. (1987) in Philosophy, University of Cambridge, teaches philosophy at Boston University, with special interests in philosophical issues related to modernity and globalization. His publication includes The Chinese Model of Modern Development (Routledge, 2005)

Zhong Xueping, Ph.D. (1993) in Comparative Literature, University of Iowa, is Associate Professor of Chinese Literature and Culture at Tufts University. She has written on contemporary Chinese literature, film, television drama, and other related issues including Mainstream Culture Refocused (University of Hawaii Press, 2010).

Liao Kebin, Ph.D. (1989) in Classical Chinese Literature, Hangzhou University, is Professor of Classical Chinese Literature at Peking University. He has published extensively, including monographs and articles, on Ming Dynasty literature, classical novel and drama.

Table of contents

Cao Tianyu
“Consider the Other More Important than the Self ”: Liang Shuming’s View of Confucian Ethics
Chen Lai
The Basic Form, Actual Form, and Potential Form of Neo-Confucianism: Considering the Historical Function and Practical Signifi cance of Neo-Confucianism
Liao Kebin
Individual Identifi cation and the Realm of Moral Character
Liu Dong
Classical and Modern Readings of Laozi’s Ziran
Liu Xiaogan
The Isomorphism of Family and State and the Integration of Church and State: On the Differences between the Confucian Political Tradition and Democratic Politics
Shi Yuankang
Confucian Experience and Philosophical Discourse— Refl ections on Some Aporiae in Contemporary Neo-Confucianism
Joel Thoraval
“Westernization” vs. “Sinicization”: An Ineffaceable Paradox within China’s Modernization Process
Yu Keping
Contradictions within Enlightenment Ideas
Xu Jilin
Rural Reconstruction, the Nation-State and China’s Modernity Problem: Refl ections on Liang Shuming’s Rural Reconstruction Theory and Its Practice
Lu Xinyu
Who is Afraid of Lu Xun? The Politics of “Debates about Lu Xun” and the Question of His Legacy in Post-Revolution China
Zhong Xueping
Progress Theory: The Constraint on China’s Cultural Renaissance
He Qing
“One and Three, Three and One”: The Impact of the Cultural Revolution on Chinese Modernity
Tang Shaojie
Why Did the Cultural Revolution End?
Han Shaogong
A Unique Transcendence: Deng Xiaoping’s China and Mao Zedong’s China
Gong Yuzhi
The Impact of the Cultural Revolution on Reform Era Political Culture
Roderick MacFarquhar
The Influence of China’s Cultural Tradition of Revolution on Reform-Period Conceptions of Modernity
Cao Tianyu
The Chinese Revolution and the Self Identity of the Chinese Nation
Lin Chun
Comments on Gong Yuzhi’s “A Unique Transcendence” and Roderick MacFarquhar’s “The Impact of the Cultural Revolution on Reform-era Political Culture”
Lin Chun
China’s Social Transformation and Two Types of Modernity
Gao Like
Confucian Marxism and its Implications in the Current Age of Globalization
Chen Weigang
The Cold War, Imperial Aesthetics, and Area Studies
Wang Ban
Themes for China: Modern Arts, Modern Conflict
Marshall Berman


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