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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Hairong Yan
ANTH 449
Seattle Campus

Social Transformation of Modern East Asia

Comparative study of social change in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam since 1945. Concentration on small-scale social units in rural and urban areas under both communist and capitalist political systems. Recommended: two history or anthropology of East Asia courses. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 405.

Class description

This course focuses on the social transformation of modern China, examining specific problems in four periods of Chinese modern history: revolution and land reform (1945-1952), the transition to socialism (1952-1966), the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) and post-Mao reforms (1976-present). The course will open up a series of questions for discussion: what motored the Chinese revolution? Did/can socialism work? How has “woman” been positioned in the revolution and the nation? How is “development” figured in post-Mao Chinese society? Should China join WTO? While the reading materials offer substantive information about Chinese society and culture, they also lead us to examine politics of representation and conditions of knowledge production.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

For each class you are expected to write a two-page precis for the readings (40% of your final grade). You are also expected to lead (or co-lead) discussion once on your chosen choice (your overall participation in classroom discussion is 20% of your final grade). A short analytical essay (8-10 pages) is due on the last day of the class (40%). However, if you don't want to write the final paper (because it's summer), you have the option of forming a debating team and staging a debate in class on your chosen topic.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Hairong Yan
Date: 05/11/2001