“The Concept of Human”:

Sigrid Schmalzer

in The People's Peking Man

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780226738598
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226738611 | DOI:
“The Concept of Human”:

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This chapter discusses the nature of the human identity constructed by science dissemination on human evolution. “Universal human nature” is itself far from a universal concept. Given the notion that all people share a common root identity, there are still endless ways to describe what makes up such an identity. In socialist China, labor was the core, from which starting point came a distinct vision of the lives that the earliest humans lived, summed up in the term “primitive communism.” Scientific and political elites did more than just propagate theory; they created a vivid picture of primitive human life with endearing characterizations of the early ancestors whose labor had created humanity.

Keywords: human identity; science dissemination; human evolution; labor; primitive communism; science dissemination; socialist China

Chapter.  11140 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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