The Return of the Repressed: three examples of how Chinese identity is being reconsolidated for the modern world

de Burgh, H. and Feng, D. 2018. The Return of the Repressed: three examples of how Chinese identity is being reconsolidated for the modern world. Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies. 31 (6), pp. 146-160.

TitleThe Return of the Repressed: three examples of how Chinese identity is being reconsolidated for the modern world
Authorsde Burgh, H. and Feng, D.
Abstract

After setting the scene for an examination of the changes in culture and self-perception in China today, the authors explore three areas of activity which can be interpreted as illustrating these changes: (1) the current treatment of Confucius, as compared to the recent past; (2) the enthusiasm for the Chinese canon, which has developed from a grassroots movement into government policy; and (3) the way in which the presentation and content of public slogans have changed to, apparently, reflect the substitution of Communist nostrums for Confucian mores. In the first and second cases, the authors suggest that the authorities are acceding to the aspirations and prejudices of the people; rather than leading, they are following, and this has the effect of reinforcing the trend. The third—the gradual abandonment of the use of Marxist shibboleths in propaganda, and their replacement by Confucian adages—is not yet an established fact but, again, the trend is evident. China has revised and modernised its traditional culture and the first fruits of that can be seen in the words and behaviour of its political and intellectual leaders.

KeywordsConfucius; guoxue; China; Xi Jinping; renaissance; culture
JournalCritical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies
Journal citation31 (6), pp. 146-160
ISSN0256-0046
Year2018
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/02560046.2017.1408665
Publication dates
Published10 May 2018

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