Occidentalism: A Theory of Counter-Discourse in Post-Mao China

Hardcover | April 1, 1989

byXiaomei Chen

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Xiaomei Chen offers an insightful account of the unremittingly favorable depiction of Western culture and its negative characterization of Chinese culture in post-Mao China from 1978-1988. Chen examines the cultural and political interrelations between the East and West from a vantage pointmore complex than that accommodated by most current theories of Western imperialism and colonialism. Going beyond Edward Said's construction in Orientalism of cross-cultural appropriations as a defining facet of Western imperialism, Chen argues that the appropriation of Western discourse--what shecalls "Occidentalism"--can have a politically and ideologically liberating effect on contemporary non-Western culture. Using China as a focus of her analysis, Chen examines a variety of cultural media, from Shakesperian drama, to Western modernist poetry, to contemporary Chinese television. She thusplaces sinology in the general context of Western theoretical discourses, such as Eurocentrism, postcolonialism, nationalism, modernism, feminism, and literary hermeneutics, showing that it has a vital role to play in the study of Orient and Occident and their now unavoidable symbiotic relationship.Occidentalism presents a new model of comparative literary and cultural studies that reenvisions cross-cultural appropriation.

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From Our Editors

In the first comprehensive study of Occidentalism in post-Mao China, Xiaomei Chen offers an insightful account of the unremittingly favorable depiction of Western culture and its negative characterization of Chinese culture in post-Mao China from 1978-1988. She examines the cultural and political interrelations between the East and Wes...

From the Publisher

Xiaomei Chen offers an insightful account of the unremittingly favorable depiction of Western culture and its negative characterization of Chinese culture in post-Mao China from 1978-1988. Chen examines the cultural and political interrelations between the East and West from a vantage pointmore complex than that accommodated by most cu...

From the Jacket

'Occidentalism is a stunning and innovative book that will have a profound impact on the fields of Chinese studies and modern Chinese literature and society.

Xiaomei Chen is at Ohio State University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 8.5 × 5.75 × 0.87 inPublished:April 1, 1989Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195085795

ISBN - 13:9780195085792

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From Our Editors

In the first comprehensive study of Occidentalism in post-Mao China, Xiaomei Chen offers an insightful account of the unremittingly favorable depiction of Western culture and its negative characterization of Chinese culture in post-Mao China from 1978-1988. She examines the cultural and political interrelations between the East and West from a vantage point more complex than that accommodated by most current theories of Western imperialism and colonialism. Going beyond Edward Said's construction in Orientalism of cross-cultural appropriations as a defining facet of Western imperialism, Chen argues that the appropriation of Western discourse - what she calls "Occidentalism" - can actually have a politically and ideologically liberating effect on contemporary non-Western culture. She maintains that simplistic allegations of Orientalism frequently found in current critical discourses seriously underestimate the complexities of intercultural and multicultural relationships. Occidentalism presents a new model of comparative literary and cultural studies that reenvision

Editorial Reviews

"Occidentalism is required reading for anyone who likes talking about literature as a phenomenon that exists and can be recognized in many countries and cultures, that has a certain cultural value, and that can be enjoyed and discussed on a different level than politics."--China ReviewInternational