Tensions within the May Fourth Movement

Timothy B. Weston

in The Power of Position

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780520237674
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929906 | DOI:
Tensions within the May Fourth Movement

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This chapter argues that Beijing University was characterized by an uneasy, halting embrace of “the new,” and uncertainty as to what, exactly, the consequences were for intellectuals who claimed to be committed to New Culture values. It investigates the debates over the proper mission for Beida and how the institution itself should be run; the process by which the university was opened to female students; and the way its intellectuals viewed themselves in relation both to society and to popular cultural tastes. The chapter also shows post-May Fourth Beida's rootedness in the past, and mentions the extent to which the May Fourth Movement did in fact forever change the institution. It then addresses the dialectical relationship between the old culture and the new. The New Culture commitment to sexual equality had not significantly loosened the tenacious hold of traditional mores pertaining to relations between the sexes.

Keywords: May Fourth Movement; Beijing University; New Culture commitment; sexual equality; intellectuals; female students

Chapter.  14073 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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