Date of Award

4-20-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

Dunnell, Ruth

Abstract

The Multiple Modernities of Republican Shanghai is an exploration of what it meant to be ‰Û÷modern‰Ûª for different social groups in China‰Ûªs premiere cosmopolitan city during the early twentieth century. The study highlights Shanghai‰Ûªs foreign residents and visitors, the Chinese intelligentsia, and those who spearheaded the city‰Ûªs booming commercial economy. These various groups of people articulated different goals and notions of modernity through the social and professional organizations they formed, through their literature, and through the products and advertisements they produced. Westerners and Chinese nationals often disagreed over what it meant to be modern and how China should modernize. Chinese historical and cultural traditions, Western imperialism, and the rise of global capitalism all figured into the debate over modernity. The semi-colonial milieu of Republican Shanghai compounded these considerations as variant models of modernity proliferated throughout the city‰Ûªs institutions, publishing houses, and marketplaces. While modernity remains a nebulous concept even today, The Multiple Modernities of Republican Shanghai presents several distinct notions of the modern held by historical actors in early twentieth-century China and advocates for a fluid, contextual understanding of modernity in societies around the world.

Comments

Includes bibliographical references (p. 102-108)

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