Popular Protest and Political Culture in Modern China

Popular Protest and Political Culture in Modern China

Popular Protest and Political Culture in Modern China

Popular Protest and Political Culture in Modern China

Synopsis

This innovative and widely praised volume uses the dramatic occupation of Tiananmen Square as the foundation for rethinking the cultural dimensions of Chinese politics. Now in a revised and expanded second edition, the book includes enhanced coverage of key issues, such as the political dimensions of popular culture (addressed in a new chapter on Chinese rock-and-roll by Andrew Jones) and the struggle for control of public discourse in the post-1989 era (discussed in a new chapter by Tony Saich). Two especially valuable additions to the second edition are art historian Tsao Tsing-yuan's eyewitness account of the making of the Goddess of Democracy, and an exposition of Chinese understandings of the term "revolution" contributed by Liu Xiaobo, one of China's most controversial dissident intellectuals. The volume also includes an analysis (by noted social theorist and historical sociologist Craig C. Calhoun) of the similarities and differences between the "new" social movements of recent decades and the "old" social movements of earlier eras. TEXT CONCLUSION: To facilitate classroom use, the volume has been reorganized into groups of interrelated essays. The editors introduce each section and offer a list of suggested readings that complement the material in that section.

Excerpt

When Susan McEachern of Westview Press asked if we might be interested in preparing a revised and expanded edition of Popular Protest and Political Culture in Modern China, we were happy for an obvious reason: Her request indicated that people were buying and (presumably) reading the first edition. We were also pleased for another reason: Ever since the book had gone to press, we had been troubled by a nagging sense that there were a number of ways in which it could have been a more satisfying volume. Because of our belief that it was important to say certain kinds of things about the cultural dynamics and historical resonances of contemporary Chinese politics while the images left by the intense media coverage of the protest and repression centering in and around Tiananmen Square were still fresh in the minds of our readers, the first edition had been put together quite quickly. For the most part we were happy with the results, and we remain convinced that (on balance) it was a good decision to get the collection into print when we did, since many of the essays offered perspectives on the events of 1989 in China that were different in important ways from those provided by most of the other early works on the subject. Nonetheless, we were happy to be given the opportunity to rethink the structure and contents of the book in an effort to make it more effective as a work of scholarship and more useful as a teaching tool.

The main aspect of the first edition that dissatisfied us from the start was the absence of Chinese voices. We were also concerned that since Daniel Chirot was the only contributor whose work typically focuses on countries other than China, his comparative chapter might appear somehow out of place. By the time we actually started working on this revised edition, our list of areas that might be worth tinkering with had grown considerably, thanks to the useful comments we had received from a variety of colleagues who had either written reviews of the book or communicated with us in a less formal fashion about their experiences using the volume in the classroom. It would have been impossible to act upon every suggestion, since the chapters that some colleagues said should be left out of future editions were precisely . . .

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