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Self-Development Ethics and Politics in China Today

A Keyword Approach

340 pages
Amsterdam University Press
This volume takes readers on a journey into a central aspect of life in China, so-called "self-development." Whether prompted by the cultural values of educational success, capitalist competition for wealth, or the Chinese Communist Party's prescriptions for "good" citizenship, few people in China are immune to the impetus to "improve" themselves and thus bring about a better future. Contributors to this volume, interdisciplinary sinologists, draw on materials from practices in education, labor, and self-help as they spotlight "keywords" by which individuals make sense of their self-development journeys - including new forms of resistance to social norms. Rather than simply classify self-development by different activities or groups, the chapters map together ethical features that cut across Chinese society. Contributors explore the nuanced and ambivalent attitudes towards self-development of individuals navigating various requirements and pursuing more complete forms of existence. In so doing, they offer a snapshot of China that intersects with timely global concerns.
Author Bio
Gil Hizi is a postdoctoral fellow at the Goethe University Frankfurt