Culture and Social Transformations

Theoretical Framework and Chinese Context


As China enters the second decade of the 21st century, it faces tremendous challenges and crisis. How did China arrive at this point of crisis? How do we understand the nature of the challenges? More than any existing study of reform-era China, this volume offers a theoretical discussion of the cultural and social roots of the reform. It does so for the purpose of further exploring whether or not it is possible to imagine alternatives. Contributors to this second volume of “Culture and Social Transformations in Reform Era China” address these questions by exploring some of the most contentiously debated topics including liberalism, human rights, rule of law, the state, capitalism, and socialism.

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Cao Tianyu, Ph.D. 1987, University of Cambridge, is Professor of Philosophy at Boston University. He has published monographs, edited books and articles including The Chinese Model of Modern Development (2005).

Zhong Xueping, Ph.D. 1993, University of Iowa, is Professor of Chinese Literature and Culture at Tufts University. She has published monographs, edited books and articles including Mainstream Culture Refocused (2010).

Liao Kebin, Ph.D. 1989, Hangzhou University, is Professor of Classic Chinese Literature at Peking University. He has published monographs, edited books and articles including Mingdai Wenxue Fugu Yundong Yanjiu (2008).

Ban Wang, Ph.D. 1993, UCLA, is William Haas Professor in Chinese Studies in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and Comparative Literature at Stanford University. His major publications include Words and Their Stories (2011).
"[T]his book makes a good contribution to the growing field of theoretically informed critical Chinese studies and provides rich food for thought. More important, it should be recognized as part of a continuous struggle being waged to counter neoliberal global hegemony." Xiaoning Lu, SOAS, University of London, MCLC Resource Center Publication, September 2015.

Introduction: The Social and Cultural Roots of the Reforms
CAO Tianyu and ZHONG Xueping

Part I

Modernism, Modernity, and Individualism
Subaltern Literature: Theory and Practice (2004-2009)
LI Yunlei
The “Crime” of Lu Xun, Anti-Enlightenment, and Chinese Modernity: Criticism of Liu Xiaofeng’s “Christian Theology”
LU Xinyu
From Charting the Revolution to Charter 2008: From Maoist Discourse to De-politicization
The Transformation of Chinese University Culture: History, Present, and Path
LIAO Kebin

Part II

Academic Discourse, Official Ideology, and Institutional Metamorphoses: Reflections on Contemporary Chinese Legal Discourses and Reality
YU Xingzhong
The Flight to Rights: 1990s China and Beyond
Rebecca E. KARL
Human Rights, Revolutionary Legacy, and Politics in China
Democracy: Lyric Poem and Construction Blueprint
HAN Shaogong

Part III

Rereading “Commemorating the Three Hundredth Anniversary of the Ming Fall”
HAN Yuhai
The Crisis of Socialism and Efforts to Overcome It
CAI Xiang
Post-Socialism Revisited: Reflections on “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics,” Its Past, Present, and Future
Reinterpreting Capitalist Restoration in China: Toward a Historical Critique of “Actually Existing Market Socialism”
Yiching WU
The Western Slump and Global Reorganization
Robert WADE
An Argument for “Participatory Socialism”
LIN Chun
All interested in reform era China, the cultural and social roots of the reform, and major theoretical debates about the nature and direction of the reform.