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Representations of the Han during the Late Qing and Early Republican Period

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posted on 28.06.2013, 11:05 by Yuwei Wang
This dissertation examines the discourses of race, nation and ethnicity in late Qing and early republican China, focusing primarily on representations of the Han. It argues that the competing and changing representations of the Han in this period formed an integral part of the process of modern Chinese nation building. The empirical basis of the dissertation consists of three layers: intellectuals discourses, school textbooks and dictionaries. These layers constituted interconnected layers of discourses that were involved in the broader process of Chinese nation-building. The dissertation demonstrates that intellectuals discourses played a central role in constructing new notions of Chinese identity and the role of the Han, and thereby also in producing different templates or for Chinese nation-building during the late Qing and early republican period. After the establishment of the Chinese Republic in 1911, these modern perceptions of Chinese national identity were endorsed by the ruling elites and were gradually disseminated and popularised further by means of school textbooks and dictionaries. Taken together, the examination of discourses on the Han in these three types of sources therefore offers an account of how early Chinese nationalist ideas were produced among the elites and then disseminated among the broader population.



  • Social Sciences


  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies


© Yuwei Wang

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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