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Kevin Carrico: Reimagining the Real China
Thursday, November 8, 2012

What, when, and where is the real China? According to a growing group of young people in cities across the country, the real China is not to be found in the reality of the present. Instead of skyscrapers, mega-events, new fashion, and globalization, the groups discussed in this talk envision courtyard homes, ancient rituals, organic foods, traditional robes, and sociocultural homogeneity as embodying the proper essence of China, an eternal land of rites and etiquette (liyi zhi bang). Drawing upon ethnographic research conducted with members of the Han Clothing Movement and rapidly growing Confucian and traditionalist educational associations, this talk examines the rise of social movements dedicated to a fundamentally conservative vision of China within a rapidly urbanizing, globalizing, and increasingly complex society. What are these movements’ main ideals, objectives, and practices? Why have they emerged at this moment? Who joins these movements, and what benefits do they derive from their involvement? Yet most importantly, is their “real China” of the past any more real than the present? And what are the repercussions of these tensions between reality and imagining, or between actuality and ideals, in the national experience in general?

Time: 4:30 pm
Location: RKC 103
Sponsor: Anthropology Program; Asian Studies Program

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