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      Competing Narratives of Racial Unity in Republican China : From the Yellow Emperor to Peking Man

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      Modern China
      SAGE Publications

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          Abstract

          Following Prasenjit Duara's strategy for “de-constructing China,” this article traces the development of several competing narratives of national unity and origin during the formative Republican era (1911-49) of Chinese history. Faced with the difficult task of incorporating the heterogeneous peoples of the Qing empire into the new Chinese nation-state, Han Chinese intellectuals looked backward into their own history for scientific proof of this unitary national imaginary. The article focuses on the tension between, on the one hand, a racial formulation that placed the source of Chinese unity in the “common origin” ( tongyuan) of its people and, on the other hand, a more subjective formulation that located this unity in the gradual, evolutionary “melding” ( ronghe) of several distinct cultures and races into a new national consciousness. In the process, it highlights the role played by social scientific discourses—as institutionalized in the disciplines of history, archaeology, and ethnology—in the construction of national identity in twentieth-century China.

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          Rescuing History from the Nation

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            Siam Mapped: A History of the Geo‐Body of a Nation

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              Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World: A Derivative Discourse

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Modern China
                Modern China
                SAGE Publications
                0097-7004
                1552-6836
                April 2006
                August 17 2016
                April 2006
                : 32
                : 2
                : 181-220
                Affiliations
                [1 ]La Trobe University
                Article
                10.1177/0097700405285275
                c973d372-5101-46b6-bffc-d1e23e59d069
                © 2006

                http://journals.sagepub.com/page/policies/text-and-data-mining-license

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