Themes in the society and culture of the Han Chinese people. Concepts of self; personal interaction; family, gender, and marriage; communities and the state; religion and ritual; class, social categories, and social mobility; culturalism, nationalism, and patriotism. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 370.
A basic overview of the culture and the social institutions of the Han Chinese people, including marriage and the family, local communities, state-community relations, ecologies of production and consumption, and ideas about themselves and their relations to the rest of the world. In all these areas, we will pay attention to the great transformations that have taken place in the last fifty years, as well as to the continuities between earlier times and today.
Student learning goals
Know the basics of Chinese culture and social structure.
Be able to engage with scholarly and journalistic writing on China, especially in regard to its major current social issues.
Be able to understand cultural aspects of their own interaction with Chinese culture and Chinese people.
Be able to write a coherent essay in response to an assigned problem.
General method of instruction
Lectures with questions and discussion.
No particular background necessary except for intellectual curiosity about other cultures.
Class assignments and grading
A series of papers on assigned problem topics. No exams.
The quality of writing and analysis in the papers.