The Discourse of Race in Modern China

Paperback | July 22, 2015

byFrank Dikotter

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First published in 1992, The Discourse of Race in Modern China rapidly became a classic, showing for the first time on the basis of detailed evidence how and why racial categorisation became so widespread in China. After the country's devastating defeat against Japan in 1895, leading reformerslike Yan Fu, Liang Qichao and Kang Youwei turned away from the Confucian classics to seek enlightenment abroad, hoping to find the keys to wealth and power on the distant shores of Europe. Instead, they discovered the notion of "race", and used new evolutionary theories from Charles Darwin andHerbert Spencer to present a universe red in tooth and claw in which "yellows" competed with "whites" in a deadly struggle for survival. After the fall of the empire in 1911, prominent politicians and writers in republican China continued to measure, classify and rank people from around the worldaccording to their supposed biological features, all in the name of science. Racial thinking remains popular in the People's Republic of China, as serologists, geneticists and anthropometrists continue to interpret human variation in terms of "race". This new edition has been revised and expanded to include a new chapter taking the reader up to the twenty-firstcentury.

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First published in 1992, The Discourse of Race in Modern China rapidly became a classic, showing for the first time on the basis of detailed evidence how and why racial categorisation became so widespread in China. After the country's devastating defeat against Japan in 1895, leading reformerslike Yan Fu, Liang Qichao and Kang Youwei t...

Frank Dikotter is Chair Professor of Humanities at the University of Hong Kong. Before moving to Asia in 2006, he was Professor of the Modern History of China at SOAS. He has published nine books about the history of China, including Mao's Great Famine, which won the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction in 2011.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.4 × 5.4 × 0.68 inPublished:July 22, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190231130

ISBN - 13:9780190231132

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Revised and Expanded EditionPreface and Acknowledgements1. Race as Culture: Historical BackgroundSECTION ONEThe barbarian in the classicsThe barbarian in mythologyEnvironmental determinism'Raw' and 'cooked' barbariansSkin colourWhite ashBlack coalSECTION TWOAnti-BuddhismSong loyalismAnti-ManchuismConclusion2. Race as Type (1793-1895)DemonologyTeratologyAnatomyGeographyTypologyIntermarriage3. Race as Lineage (1895-1903)Racial warsRacial originsRacial extinctionRacial classificationRacial hierarchyRacial frontiersRacial assimilation'Western influence'Alternatives4. Race as Nation (1903-1915)Racial evolutionRacial preservationRacial ancestryRacial originsRacial nationalism5. Race as Species (1915-1949)IntroductionOriginsColourHairOdourIntelligenceStereotypesHierarchyArmageddon6. Race as Seed (1915-1949)BackgroundExpansionAopogee7. Race as Nationality (1949-2012)Race and class under MaoRace and nation since 1978EugenicsPopular racism

Editorial Reviews

"In his brilliant book Dikotter explains how traditional notions about culturally inferior "barbarians"intermingled with Western forms of scientific racism to form a distinctively Chinese racial consciousness in the 20th century." --Forbes Magazine