This is the first book in English to analyze the Chinese literary scene during the post-Mao thaw in government control. The seven contributors originally presented their research at a 1982 international conference at St. John’s University, New York, which was attended by scholars from America, Europe, and Asia, including participants from the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan.The special focus on popular literature—science fiction, love stories, detective fiction—reflects China’s new urban mass culture. These popular genres, plus the new “obscure” poetry, and the short-lived literary magazine Today are examined from an international comparative perspective and from a variety of viewpoints—literary, social, historical, political.Those social and political realities that help determine what books are on hand in China for people to read are discussed. The final chapter presents data on periodical sales, book sales, library borrowings, and readers’ stated preferences in large cities, with emphasis on Canton. Such investigations into what the Chinese public was writing and reading in the years 1978–1981 throw new light on Chinese social attitudes, ideals, morals, and taste.
Against Essentialism presents a sociological theory of culture. This interdisciplinary and foundational work deals with basic issues common to current debates in social theory, including society, culture, meaning, truth, and communication. Stephan Fuchs argues that many mysteries about these concepts lose their mysteriousness when dynamic variations are introduced.Fuchs proposes a theory of culture and society that merges two core traditions--American network theory and European (Luhmannian) systems theory. His book distinguishes four major types of social "observers"--encounters, groups, organizations, and networks. Society takes place in these four modes of association. Each generates levels of observation linked with each other into a "culture"--the unity of these observations.Against Essentialism presents a groundbreaking new approach to the construction of society, culture, and personhood. The book invites both social scientists and philosophers to see what happens when essentialism is abandoned.
In The Andes Imagined, Jorge Coronado not only examines but also recasts the indigenismo movement of the early 1900s. Coronado departs from the common critical conception of indigenismo as rooted in novels and short stories, and instead analyzes an expansive range of work in poetry, essays, letters, newspaper writing, and photography. He uses this evidence to show how the movement's artists and intellectuals mobilize the figure of the Indian to address larger questions about becoming modern, and he focuses on the contradictions at the heart of indigenismo as a cultural, social, and political movement.
By breaking down these different perspectives, Coronado reveals an underlying current in which intellectuals and artists frequently deployed their indigenous subject in order to imagine new forms of political inclusion. He suggests that these deployments rendered particular variants of modernity and make indigenismo representational practices a privileged site for the examination of the region's cultural negotiation of modernization. His analysis reveals a paradox whereby the un-modern indio becomes the symbol for the modern itself.
The Andes Imagined offers an original and broadly based engagement with indigenismo and its intellectual contributions, both in relation to early twentieth-century Andean thought and to larger questions of theorizing modernity.
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