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Siviliseringen av Kina

Universitetsstipendiat, Senter for vitenskapsteori, Universitetet i Bergen

Stipendiat, Uni Rokkansenteret og Sosiologisk institutt, Universitetet i Bergen

  • Side: 232-240
  • Publisert på Idunn: 2011-09-13
  • Publisert: 2011-09-13

Da verdensutstillingen (EXPO) ble arrangert i Shanghai i Kina i fjor, var det en stor begivenhet – kanskje en av byens største i moderne tid. Det skulle feires at Kina vinner terreng som global stormakt. Alt måtte være i sin skjønneste orden, også befolkningen. Omfattende siviliseringskampanjer skulle få kineserne til blant annet å slutte å spytte overalt og la være å tusle rundt i pyjamas i offentligheten.

The civilizing of China

An indication of the thoroughgoing modernization China is going through is the state initiated disciplinary processes and the civilizing of the Chinese populace. The Chinese civilizing processes have always been an element of Chinese society, but are now taking a new, conscious direction as a result of China’s increased commerce with the West after the country’s Reform and Opening at the beginning of the 1980’s. But while the western process of civilization has focused on the guidance of the individual through an increased degree of emancipation and self control, the processes in China have unique cultural characteristics and are much more temporally compressed than the similar processes which occurred in the West. This is made possible by an authoritarian and centralized state apparatus. Campaigns prior to, and during the EXPO 2010 in Shanghai acted as catalysts for these forms of civilizing and can illustrate that similar civilizing processes are occurring in China today. One campaign which has caused debate and attention is the government’s attempt to prohibit people from wearing pyjamas in public.

Keywords: China, cultural modernization, pyjamas, disciplinary processes
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