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Da Zhiqing a Wenhua Yanjiuzhe. L’ “emergenza” dei Wenhua Yangjiu in Cina ed a Shanghai.
Merolla, Sabrina (2010) Da Zhiqing a Wenhua Yanjiuzhe. L’ “emergenza” dei Wenhua Yangjiu in Cina ed a Shanghai. Tesi di Dottorato, Università degli Studi di Napoli L'Orientale.
From Zhiqing to Wenhua Yanjiuzhe. The ‘Emergence’ of Wenhua Yangjiu in China and Shanghai. In the last decades a remarkable expansion of cultural studies, 文化研究 wenhua yanjiu, has occurred in P.R.China, as a new frame of thought and research. This local trend is part of a comprehensive academic and intellectual context in which, since the second half of the Twentieth Century, the influence of such researches has constantly grown. In China, the critical turning point has been the year 1989. Tiananmen Square massacre left a legacy of fear and disengagement from politics, not only to the common Chinese consumers’ society of the 90s but also to all those intellectuals who had been part of that very generation of ‘educated youths’, 知识青年 zhishi qingnian, who had failed as red guards in the 60s and as young liberals at the end of the 70s and who had firmly believed in 1989’s movements. Many of those zhishi fenzi,知识分子 ‘modern intellectuals’ who stayed in PRC after the failure of Tiananmen, began, since the very start of the Nineties, a long pause of silence which came to an end only on the half of the same decade, mainly after Deng Xiaoping’s death (1997). It is starting from their debates on 现代化 xiandaihua, ‘modernisation’, mainly started in 1997 by the most influential essay published by Wang Hui in that very year (Dangdai Zhongguo de sixiang zhuangkuang he xiandaixing wenti), that we explore how a new field of research and knowledge has been founded in Mainland China between at the edge of the New Century. The re-discussion of some central issues of Mao and Deng’s visions of history and the constant re-elaboration of a whole set of imported theories, centred on concepts as culture and hegemony, have forged the Chinese cultural studies fever文化研究热潮. Therefore the deepening of the spread of this academic discipline lets us observe the roots of many well-known new-left intellectuals’ affection for this new discipline, which has slowly been configured as both, a new theoretical doctrine and a concrete and willingly revolutionary answer to the contradictions of contemporary Chinese and global society. The subversion of few dominant paradigms of Chinese socialist thought has actually given new hopes to a generation of disillusioned intellectuals and a new chance to change the world through the academic re-education of the future generations of zhishi fenzi. Therefore we describe the practical aspects of some cultural studies projects from Mainland China, their daily connection with a net of research centres and NGOs around Asia and the whole globe, which aim to use the privileged view of cross-cultural communication as a way to enrich local theories and methods, globally paying special attention to those socio-political movements often excluded by mass media and connecting the post-modern Asian cities to the rural areas lagging behind, in order to achieve a common path to social and political change.
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