The Goujian Story in a Privatizing China

Paul A. Cohen

in Speaking to History

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780520255791
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942394 | DOI:
The Goujian Story in a Privatizing China

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This chapter discusses the widespread privatization of the Goujian story in China at the turn of the twentieth century in response to a rapidly expanding arena of individual concerns and aspirations. It looks at two structural developments that profoundly shaped the dissemination of the Goujian story: the proliferation of new print outlets accompanying the extraordinary growth of the country's tertiary educational sector in the post-Mao era and the dramatic expansion of television from the early 1980s on. The chapter also considers the implementation of patriotic education and the appropriation of the Goujian story in writings directed at reforming the attitudes and behavior of Communist Party members, as well as in countless instances for the purpose of individual and collective motivation. Finally, it describes the “little emperor” syndrome, a by-product of the one-child policy that had been adopted early in the Deng Xiaoping era to slow China's population growth.

Keywords: China; Goujian; privatization; television; motivation; Communist Party; patriotic education; little emperor syndrome; one-child policy

Chapter.  10206 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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