When Is China? (2): Producing and Consuming National Humiliation Days

William A. Callahan

in China

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780199549955
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191720314 | DOI:
When Is China? (2): Producing and Consuming National Humiliation Days

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Asks the question “When is China?” to show how Chinese people produce and consume national identity on special days like National Humiliation Day. Comparing the differing practices of the holiday as it was celebrated in the early twentieth century and the early twenty‐first century, the chapter argues that in the early twentieth century the political performances aimed to produce a proper Chinese nation that was worthy of being saved. When National Humiliation Day was revived at the turn of the twenty‐first century, its activities focused on containing nationalism through a commemoration of the crises of the early twentieth century. Because national humiliation discourse has now spread beyond official control, the chapter concludes that we need to appreciate how Chinese people consume nationalism to produce a particular form of identity – and a particular type of security.

Keywords: Time; nontraditional security; Chinese nationalism; popular culture; symbolic politics

Chapter.  10562 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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