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139 Notes Introduction 1. I use the word “modernity” here in the sense that the modern implies a consciousness or an urge to always pursue change for something newer. See, for instance, Calinescu, Five Faces of Modernity, 13–94. This consciousness still holds true for contemporary China, both in the state ideology that promotes an across-the-board modernization and in the everyday mentality of the people. This will become clearer as my study unfolds. 2. The era of Reform and Opening-up parallels the postsocialist period in China. It began in 1979 when Deng Xiaoping took over power from the interregnum leader Hua Guofeng. Detailed examination of the unevenness in contemporary China will be more extensively addressed in the following part and in Chapter 1. 3. Just two of the recent studies on unevenness in modernity are Juan, “Postcolonialism and the Problematic of Uneven Development”; and Radcliffe, “Geographies of Modernity in Latin America.” 4. For instance, Stephanie Sieburth uses the term “uneven modernity” to describe the context of modern Spanish literature. According to Sieburth, modernity in Spain is uneven because modernization came in fits and starts in that country . Therefore, modernity generates problems of unevenness, including the tension between economic development and political control, and the contradictory opinions in literary works on backwardness and progress. Sieburth, Inventing High and Low, 231–234. 5. Studies on uneven development, especially in economics, are abundant. Here are just a few titles on the subject: Bhalla, Uneven Development in the Third World; Dixon and Drakakis-Smith, eds., Uneven Development in South East Asia; Hadjimichalis , Uneven Development and Regionalism; Hudson and Lewis, eds., Uneven Development in Southern Europe; MacKinnon and Cumbers, An Introduction to Economic Geography; and Parnwell, ed., Uneven Development in Thailand. 6. See, for instance, Escobar, Encountering Development; and Rist, The History of Development. 7. Mandel, Marxist Economic Theory, 91. 140 8. Althusser, For Marx, 213. Immanuel Wallerstein’s momumental studies of the modern world-system, unlike Mandel’s and Althusser’s more universal claims quoted above, focus more on the global capitalist economy and address the unevenness between core and periphery. See Wallerstein, The Modern World-System, Vol. I: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century; Wallerstein, The Modern World-System, Vol. II: Mercantilism and the Consolidation of the European World-Economy, 1600–1750; and Wallerstein, The Modern World-System, Vol. III: The Second Era of Great Expansion of the Capitalist World-Economy , 1730–1840s. 9. Žižek, The Sublime Object of Ideology, 53. 10. See Smith, Uneven Development. 11. See Harvey, Spaces of Global Capitalism; Harvey, Spaces of Hope; and Harvey, The Limits to Capital. 12. Smith, Uneven Development, n3, 171–172. 13. Discussions on the modern are abundant. Here are a few significant contributions : Bauman, Modernity and Ambivalence; Beck, Giddens, and Lash, Reflexive Modernization; Calinescu, Five Faces of Modernity; Frye, The Modern Century; Habermas , The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity; and Huyssen, After the Great Divide. Because of China’s history and its relationships with the West, definitions of the modern in the Chinese condition are complex. On the one hand, people are obsessed with the idea of modernization of the country with the primary goal of making China a more civilized—which is to say a more prosperous and powerful—nation. Such an understanding of the modern also finds powerful expressions in state rhetoric, which somewhat forecloses critical interventions. On the other hand, critics realize that embedded in the discourse of the modern are colonialist and imperialist ideologies. For a country that has suffered so sorely from these ideologies and whose aim is to construct for itself a new national identity, China bears ambivalent feelings towards the idea of the modern imported from the West. In addition, because of all these complexities , people tend to use the word “modern” without much differentiation. Sometimes they use contradictory implications in the idea interchangeably. One of the discussions that is pertinent to the Chinese context is Liu Xiaofeng’s differentiation of the terms “modernization,” “modernism,” and “modernity” in the sense of sociopolitical institution , the conceptual system of knowledge of feeling, and forms of individual-collective psychic structure and cultural institution. See Liu Xiaofeng, “Xiandai xue de wenti yishi” [Consciousness of problems in studies of the modern], 120–121. 14. See Liu Kang, Globalization and Cultural Trends in China; and Liu Kang, “Is There an Alternative to (Capitalist) Globalization?” Also see Sheldon Lu, China, Transnational Visuality, Global Postmodernity; and Sheldon Lu, Chinese Modernity and Global Biopolitics...


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