Chapter

Enlightened Paternalism

Wen-hsin Yeh

in Shanghai Splendor

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780520249714
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933422 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520249714.003.0006
Enlightened Paternalism

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“Modernity” in Shanghai, with its indigenization of foreign products and its promotion of machine-related science, mobilized the capacities of the printing press to undertake a campaign of negotiation and persuasion. Entrepreneurs, officials, and educators all took part, in different capacities, in this process. The result was the emergence of a new belief that with science as its foundation, modern enterprises would facilitate economic progress and bring material benefits, and that this combination of science and prosperity would serve to enrich the nation and enlighten the people. Vocational educators and civic organizers took advantage of the illuminated spaces in schools, offices, and club buildings to hold events and give classes in the evenings. It was of comparable significance that tramways in the concessions ran on schedule; a working youth could thus dependably budget his nights out in terms of commuting time.

Keywords: Shanghai; modernity; economic progress; educators; modern enterprises

Chapter.  11365 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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