A Study on the Communication and Diffusion of Nationalism in Late Qing China
|Keywords:||民族主義;晚清;集體記憶;傳播與擴散;資源競爭;Nationalism;Late Qing China;Collective Memory;Communication and Diffusion;Competition for Resources||Issue Date:||2007||Abstract:||
For recent years, Taiwan and the world have cautiously noticed the rise of China. They built bilateral cooperative relationship in economic fields, but on the same time, expressed their concern for the threat coming with a mighty China. However, it is more accurate to say that the world fears the gradual challenge on their profits, rather than the military threat on their survival. Modern Chinese nationalism boomed at the period of late Qing China, around 1895-1911. A profound scrutiny of nationalism, of its communication, diffusion and consolidation, helps forecast the future possibilities of modern China. My thesis focuses on the “communication and diffusion” of Chinese nationalism, attempting to map and depict an integral picture, to locate the traces of its prevalence, and reexamines the core essence of Chinese nationalism. A working definition on nation is provided: a nation is a demarcated group with the right to claim sovereignty; composed of a group of people, based on biological features and other identical characteristics which are subjectively approved, and sharing collective memory which they are willing to believe.
The tracks of modern Chinese nationalism can be divided in two streams. The internal part is that the legitimacy of Manchurian monarchy was challenged by the Taiping rebellion, under the problem of population explosion and the uneven distribution of political and economical resources. The impact unearthed the long-oppressed anti-Manchu ideology of Han people in the popular society, but it failed to attract the notice of elite and gentry. The external part is that the exploitations on China’s sovereignty, territory and economy from imperial empires, forced a small number of intellectuals to recognize the dramatic falling and fragility of national power. In order to fight for equality, reform was necessary and inevitable. The nationalism motivated by the fierce competition of nation-states guided the political reform of late Qing China. But the fruitless response of Qing government, and the long-term inequality of domestic ethnic groups, left the room for the combination of internal racial nationalism and external state nationalism. Therefore, the Han Chinese, the majority group in China, mobilized their historical memories, decided to overthrow the Manchu government to fight for domestic equality, and subsequently compete with other modern nations for equal international status.
The future of Chinese nationalism depends on the recovery of these humiliating memories and the completion of national glory. As long as these trauma memories can be healed, the strength and intensity of nationalism will abate. And China might accept and practice universal values of human society.
|Appears in Collections:||中國文學系|
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