Matching Items (53)

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Signs, signs, everywhere a sign: an annotated translation and study of the Scripture on the cycles of heaven and earth

Description

Sacred apocalyptic texts claim to foretell coming events, warning the faithful of some terrible fate that lies beyond the present. Such texts often derive their power from successfully recasting past events in such a way as they appear to be

Sacred apocalyptic texts claim to foretell coming events, warning the faithful of some terrible fate that lies beyond the present. Such texts often derive their power from successfully recasting past events in such a way as they appear to be "predicted" by the text and thus take on additional meanings beyond the superficial. This ex eventu status allows apocalyptic texts to increase the credibility of their future predictions and connect emotionally with the reader by playing on present fears. The fifth-century Daoist apocalyptic text, the Scripture on the Cycles of Heaven and Earth (Tiandi yundu jing, 天地運度經), is no exception. This thesis examines the apocalyptic markers in the poetic sections of the text, attempting to develop a strategy for separating the generic imagery (both to Chinese texts and the apocalyptic literary genre as a whole) from the more significant recoverable references to contemporary events such as the fall of the Jin dynasty and the subsequent founding of the Liu-Song dynasty.

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Date Created
2011

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Transnationalizing intersectionality: gender, class and heteronormativity in neoliberal China

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This dissertation integrates humanities with social science methodologies within a critical framework, seeking to explore the relationship between the neoliberal restructuring and the intersection of gender, class and heteronormativity in contemporary China. In this project, neoliberalism is conceptualized as an

This dissertation integrates humanities with social science methodologies within a critical framework, seeking to explore the relationship between the neoliberal restructuring and the intersection of gender, class and heteronormativity in contemporary China. In this project, neoliberalism is conceptualized as an art of governance centering on the intersection of race, gender, class and sexuality to create market subjects and sustain market competition. Focusing on China's recent socio-economic and cultural upheavals, this dissertation tries to address these questions: 1. How have class inequalities, binaristic gender and heteronormative discourses been employed intersectionally by the Chinese state to facilitate China's social transformation? 2. How has this process been justified and consolidated through the intersection of gender, class, sexuality and race? 3. How do the marginalized groups respond to these material and cultural practices? Building on the discursive analysis of China's televised 60th anniversary ceremony and If You Are the One, a popular Chinese reality show, as well as the data from the interview, focus group and participant observation of more than 100 informants, it is found that the intersection of gender, class and heteronormativity is central to China's neoliberal transition. A group of flexible and cheap laborers have been disarticulated and rearticulated from the population as the voluntary servitude to China's marketization and re-integration with the global economy. New controlling images, such as the bourgeois nucleus family, are created to legitimize this process. However, these disparate material and discursive practices have entailed contradictions and conflicts within the intersectional biopolitical system, and created contingent spaces of ungovernability for the marginalized groups. Building on these discursive analyses and empirical data, I reconceptualize intersectionality as a multi-dimensional-and-directional network to regulate and manage power for social organization and regulation, which grounds the biopolitical basics for the neoliberal economy. Thus I argue that we need to engage with the dynamics between the intersectional biopolitical structure and people's emerging experiences to construct a grounded utopia alternative to the neoliberal dominance for substantive social changes.

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Date Created
2013

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Aging and identity among Japanese immigrant women

Description

Ascribed elements of one's self-identity such as sex, race, and the place of birth are deeply related to one's national identity among Japanese immigrant women. Spouses, offspring, friends, networks in the U.S., or even information about their local area also

Ascribed elements of one's self-identity such as sex, race, and the place of birth are deeply related to one's national identity among Japanese immigrant women. Spouses, offspring, friends, networks in the U.S., or even information about their local area also represent the nation they feel they belong to. The feelings of belonging and comfort are the basis for their achieved sphere of identification with the U.S. This study found that few elderly immigrants would identify only with the host county. Likewise, very few elderly immigrants would identify only with the homeland. Therefore, most of them identify with both countries (transnational), or they identify with neither country (liminal) to an extent. Developing transnational or liminal identity is a result of how Japanese elderly immigrant women have been experiencing mundane events in the host country and how they think the power relations of the sending and receiving countries have changed over the years. Japanese elderly immigrant women with transnational identity expressed their confidence and little anxiety for their aging. Their confidence comes from strong connection with the local community in the host country or/and homeland. Contrarily, those with liminal identity indicated stronger anxiety toward their aging. Their anxiety comes from disassociation from the local community in the U.S. and Japan. With regard to the decisiveness of future plan such as where to live and how to cope with aging, indecisiveness seems to create more options for elderly Japanese immigrant women with the transnational identity, while it exacerbates the anxiety among those who have liminal identity.

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Date Created
2012

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Underbalancing and state policies: how China interacts with its East Asian neighbors

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East Asia in the aftermath of the Cold War might provide the most favorable case for realist theory due to historical rivalries, territorial disputes, economic competition, great power politics and deep-rooted realist beliefs among politicians in the region. Yet the

East Asia in the aftermath of the Cold War might provide the most favorable case for realist theory due to historical rivalries, territorial disputes, economic competition, great power politics and deep-rooted realist beliefs among politicians in the region. Yet the fundamental realist prediction of balance of power in the region has not materialized. Neither internal nor external balancing in their original senses is explicitly present. This poses a serious challenge to realism and more broadly, western international relations theories for understanding regional dynamics. Several explanations have been put forward in previous research, such as a total rejection of the applicability of realism for explaining East Asian politics, modifying realism by adding new variables, and focusing on domestic variables. Using a neoclassical realist term, underbalancing, this dissertation goes beyond neoclassical realist theory of underbalancing by reintroducing the distinction between external and internal balancing, which has direct implications for the resources needed for a balancing policy and external reactions to balancing policy. In particular, this approach emphasizes the effect of interaction between states on underbalancing. By doing so, it also highlights what is omitted by realism, namely, the agency of the targeted state at risk of being balanced. In other words, the policy of the state that is aware of its risk of being balanced could draw upon foreign policy tools it possesses to neutralize the balancing efforts from others. This notion of state policies influencing the outcome of balance of power is tested with post-Cold War East Asian politics. The cases included China-Japan and China-ASEAN strategic interactions after the Cold War. Based on materials from public media outlets, official documents and recently leaked U.S. diplomatic cables, this dissertation argues that China's policies towards neighboring states- policies expressed variously through cultural, diplomatic, economic and security initiatives- are indispensable to explain the fact of underbalancing in the region.

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2014

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Changing political and intellectual landscapes during the mid-Ming: revival of private academies, emergence of jianghui, and the enshrinement case of 1584

Description

This thesis examines the relationship between political culture, Confucian intellectuals, and the rise of a new intellectual and cultural paradigm during the early to mid-Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644). The main goal of this thesis is to supplement current scholarshi

This thesis examines the relationship between political culture, Confucian intellectuals, and the rise of a new intellectual and cultural paradigm during the early to mid-Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644). The main goal of this thesis is to supplement current scholarship on Chen Xianzhang’s 陳獻章 (1428 – 1500) life as an intellectual of Cantonese origin and his political activities at both local and national levels. Furthermore, the thesis supplements current research on the Yangming School and the School’s contribution to the revitalization of private academies during the Ming with a study on the relationship between the three Confucian intellectuals enshrined in 1584 and the revival of private academies from the perspective of political history. In analyzing the relationship between these various aspects of the Ming political and intellectual landscapes, the thesis uses the 1584 Confucian Temple enshrinement, which involved Wang Yangming 王陽明 (1472 – 1529) and his two older contemporary Confucian intellectuals, Chen Xianzhang and Hu Juren 胡居仁 (1434 – 1484), as an entry point to explore the dynamics behind the political and cultural changes at the time. It aims to investigate the issue of cultural power versus imperial power, the central-versus-peripheral narrative in Ming politics, the evolution of how cultural power was asserted by members of the Confucian tradition, and the manifestation of such evolution in response to contemporary political discussions. The author begins with an analysis of the revival of private academies (shuyuan 書院) during the mid-Ming, and the influence of Chen Xianzhang and Hu Juren in this revival. He then dissects the relationship between the revival of private academies and the emergence of jianghui 講會 (discussion gatherings) in the following decades. Finally, the thesis discusses the struggle of mid-Ming intellectuals in gaining cultural legitimization for both private academies and jianghui activities by urging the imperial court to give due recognition through enshrining Wang, Chen, and Hu in the Confucian Temple, and the historical significance of this struggle to the development of the Confucian tradition in the Ming. The author ultimately argues that Chen Xianzhang, contrary to the common perception about him being a philosopher-poet who was indifferent to political discourses, was in fact a politically active intellectual; and that Chen’s contributions to the revival of private academies in Guangdong predated that of Wang Yangming in the Jiangnan region.

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2016

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Rebirth of a lineage: the hereditary household of the Han Celestial Master and Celestial Masters Daoism at Dragon and Tiger Mountain

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This dissertation is a study and translation of the Hereditary Household of the Han Celestial Master (Han tianshi shijia 漢天師世家), a hagiographical account of successive generations of the Zhang family patriarchs of Celestial Masters Daoism (Tianshi dao 天師道) at Dragon

This dissertation is a study and translation of the Hereditary Household of the Han Celestial Master (Han tianshi shijia 漢天師世家), a hagiographical account of successive generations of the Zhang family patriarchs of Celestial Masters Daoism (Tianshi dao 天師道) at Dragon and Tiger Mountain (Longhu shan 龍虎山) in Jiangxi province that was compiled in stages between the late fourteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The Zhang family emerged in the late Tang or early Five dynasties period and rose to great prominence and power through the Song, Yuan, and Ming dynasties on the basis of the claim of direct and unbroken lineal descent from Zhang Daoling 張道陵 the ancestral Celestial Master whose covenant with the deified Laozi in 142 C.E. is a founding event of the Daoist religion. In this study I trace the lineal history of the Zhang family as presented in the Hereditary Household in chronological parallel to contrasting narratives found in official histories, epigraphy, and the literary record. This approach affords insight into the polemical nature of the text as an assertion of legitimacy and allows for a demonstration of how the work represents an attempt to create in writing an idealized past in order to win prestige in the present. It also affords the opportunity to scour the historical record in an attempt to ascertain a plausible timeframe for the origin of the movement and to explore the relationship of the Hereditary Household to earlier hagiographic works that may have informed it. This study also contextualizes the Hereditary Household in the post-Tang religious climate of China. In that period the establishment of lineal authenticity and institutional charisma through narratives of descent became a widespread tool of legitimation employed by Buddhists, Daoists, and Confucians in hopes of obtaining imperial recognition and patronage.

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Date Created
2016

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Flowers bloom and fall

Description

The Vimalakirti Sutra is one of the classics of early Indian Mahayana Buddhism. The sutra narrates that Vimalakirti, an enlightened layman, once made it appear as if he were sick so that he could demonstrate the Law of Mahayana Buddhism

The Vimalakirti Sutra is one of the classics of early Indian Mahayana Buddhism. The sutra narrates that Vimalakirti, an enlightened layman, once made it appear as if he were sick so that he could demonstrate the Law of Mahayana Buddhism to various figures coming to inquire about his illness. This dissertation studies representations of The Vimalakirti Sutra in Chinese painting from the fourth to the nineteenth centuries to explore how visualizations of the same text could vary in different periods of time in light of specific artistic, social and religious contexts. In this project, about forty artists who have been recorded representing the sutra in traditional Chinese art criticism and catalogues are identified and discussed in a single study for the first time. A parallel study of recorded paintings and some extant ones of the same period includes six aspects: text content represented, mode of representation, iconography, geographical location, format, and identity of the painter. This systematic examination reveals that two main representational modes have formed in the Six Dynasties period (220-589): depictions of the Great Layman as a single image created by Gu Kaizhi, and narrative illustrations of the sutra initiated by Yuan Qian and his teacher Lu Tanwei. The latter mode, which became more popular than the former in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), experienced adaptation from handscroll to panoramic mural. It is also during this period that a minor scenario, the Heavenly Maiden Scattering Flowers, became a necessary vignette for representation of the sutra. Since the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the Heavenly Maiden Scattering Flowers gradually became an independent theme. This author investigates the thematic shift caused by various factors. These include the transformation of later Chinese narrative painting and the prevalence of shinu hua 仕女畫, painting of beauties, in later Chinese painting. There is also a change in the role of the Heavenly Maiden from one of many maidens to the only and necessary partner of Vimalakirti. Ultimately, the image of the Heavenly Maiden evolves from a Buddhist heavenly being to a Daoist fairy and later to a symbol representing auspicious meanings.

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Date Created
2011

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The empire's shadow: Kiran Nagarkar's quest for the unifying Indian novel

Description

Kiran Nagarkar, who won the Sahitya Akedemi Award in India for his English language writing, is a man who attracts controversy. Despite the consistent strength of his literary works, his English novels have become a lightning rod - not because

Kiran Nagarkar, who won the Sahitya Akedemi Award in India for his English language writing, is a man who attracts controversy. Despite the consistent strength of his literary works, his English novels have become a lightning rod - not because they are written in English, but because Nagarkar was a well-respected Marathi writer before he began writing in English. Although there are other writers who have become embroiled in the debate over the politics of discourse, the response to Nagarkar's move from Marathi and his subsequent reactions perfectly illustrate the repercussions that accompany such dialectical decisions. Nagarkar has been accused of myriad crimes against his heritage, from abandoning a dedicated readership to targeting more profitable Western markets. Careful analysis of his writing, however, reveals that his novels are clearly written for a diverse Indian audience and offer few points of accessibility for Western readers. Beyond his English language usage, which is actually intended to provide readability to the most possible Indian nationals, Nagarkar also courts a variegated Indian audience by developing upon traditional Indian literary conceits and allusions. By composing works for a broad Indian audience, which reference cultural elements from an array of Indian ethnic groups, Nagarkar's writing seems to push toward the development of the seemingly impossible: a novel that might unify India, and present such a cohesive cultural face to the world at large.

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Date Created
2011

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Independent candidates' participation in the 2011-12 local people's congress elections and their implications for democratization in China

Description

Chinese activists came forth in unprecedented numbers to compete as independent candidates in the 2011-12 local people's congress elections throughout China, directly challenging the ruling Chinese Communist Party within the electoral arena. In response, the government threatened, harassed and obstructed

Chinese activists came forth in unprecedented numbers to compete as independent candidates in the 2011-12 local people's congress elections throughout China, directly challenging the ruling Chinese Communist Party within the electoral arena. In response, the government threatened, harassed and obstructed the campaigns of these candidates, and as a result only a handful of independent candidates made it onto the official ballots, let alone win the elections. Despite their lack of success, independent candidates have been promoted by media sources as the latest movement with the potential to bring about democratic reform within China. However, independent candidates as a collective have not been sufficiently analyzed in order to determine the extent of these candidates' shared desire for democratic reform or their powers to effect such reform. Therefore, within the theoretical framework of electoral authoritarianism and utilizing a single-case, exploratory case study, this thesis explores the potential of the 2011-12 independent candidate movement to initiate democratic reform in China. Relying upon the statements of the candidates as reported by English-language news media, I create a typology of the movement and examine the candidates' goals and motives, as well as their interactions with the local people's congresses and the Chinese Communist Party, in hopes of revealing a clearer picture of the balance of power between the movement and the current regime. I conclude that due to the inability of independent candidates to win a significant number of seats, the limited power of deputies on local people's congress to effect structural change, and the lack of unity and organization among independent candidates, the 2011-12 independent candidate movement will not immediately result in structural democratic reform in China. Nevertheless, I contend that the increased awareness of electoral rights and democracy in China as a result the independent candidate movement will, in the coming years and decades, compel the ruling Chinese Communist Party to take significant steps to appease the ever-growing demand for political participation in China.

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Date Created
2012

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Cyberbullying among children in Japanese and American middle schools: an exploration of prevalence and predictors

Description

ABSTRACT Cyberbullying has emerged as one of educators' and researchers' chief concerns as the use of computer mediated communication (CMC) has become ubiquitous among young people. Many undesirable outcomes have been identified as being linked to both traditional and cyberbullying,

ABSTRACT Cyberbullying has emerged as one of educators' and researchers' chief concerns as the use of computer mediated communication (CMC) has become ubiquitous among young people. Many undesirable outcomes have been identified as being linked to both traditional and cyberbullying, including depression,truancy, and suicide. America and Japan have both been identified as nations whose youth engage frequently in the use of CMC, and may be at a potentially higher risk to be involved in cyberbullying. Time spent using CMC has been linked to involvement in cyberbullying, and gender and age have, in turn, been linked to CMC use - these may play significant roles in determining who is at risk. In order to assess the effects of nationality, gender, and age on cyberbullying involvement among Japanese and American middle school students, a survey exploring these factors was developed and carried out with 590 American and Japanese middles school students (Japan: n = 433 and America: n = 157). MANOVA results indicated that that Americans tend to both use CMC more and be more involved in cyberbullying. In addition, Japanese involvement increased with age, while American involvement did not. There were minimal differences between Americans and Japanese with regards to traditional bullying.

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Date Created
2011