China's New Confucianism

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-04-07
  • Publisher: Princeton Univ Pr

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What is it like to be a Westerner teaching political philosophy in an officially Marxist state? Why do Chinese sex workers sing karaoke with their customers? And why do some Communist Party cadres get promoted if they care for their elderly parents? In this entertaining and illuminating book, one of the few Westerners to teach at a Chinese university draws on his personal experiences to paint an unexpected portrait of a society undergoing faster and more sweeping changes than anywhere else on earth. With a storyteller's eye for detail, Daniel Bell observes the rituals, routines, and tensions of daily life in China.China's New Confucianismmakes the case that as the nation retreats from communism, it is embracing a new Confucianism that offers a compelling alternative to Western liberalism. Bell provides an insider's account of Chinese culture and, along the way, debunks a variety of stereotypes. He presents the startling argument that Confucian social hierarchy can actuallycontributeto economic equality in China. He covers such diverse social topics as sex, sports, and the treatment of domestic workers. He considers the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, wondering whether Chinese overcompetitiveness might be tempered by Confucian civility. And he looks at education in China, showing the ways Confucianism impacts his role as a political theorist and teacher. By examining the challenges that arise as China adapts ancient values to contemporary society,China's New Confucianismenriches the dialogue of possibilities available to this rapidly evolving nation.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. xiii
Politicsp. 1
From Communism to Confucianism: Changing Discourses on China's Political Futurep. 3
War, Peace, and China's Soft Powerp. 19
Hierarchical Rituals for Egalitarian Societiesp. 38
Societyp. 57
Sex, Singing, and Civility: The Costs and Benefi ts of the Karaoke Tradep. 59
How Should Employers Treat Domestic Workers?p. 75
The Politics of Sports: From the 2006 World Cup to the 2008 Olympicsp. 91
Educationp. 105
A Critique of Critical Thinkingp. 107
Teaching Political Theory in Beijingp. 128
On Being Confucian: Why Confucians Needn't Be Old, Serious, and Conservativep. 148
Depoliticizing the Analectsp. 163
Jiang Qing's Political Confucianism 175
Indexp. 231
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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