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Reinventing Modern ChinaImagination and Authenticity in Chinese Historical Writing$
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Huaiyin Li

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824836085

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824836085.001.0001

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From Revolution to Modernization

From Revolution to Modernization

The Paradigmatic Transition in Reform Era Historiography

Chapter:
(p.204) Chapter 7 From Revolution to Modernization
Source:
Reinventing Modern China
Author(s):

Huaiyin Li

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824836085.003.0007

This chapter examines the rise of the modernization discourse and its impact on Chinese historiography in the late 1980s and the 1990s. Dissatisfied with the “outdated” revolutionary narrative, proreform historians showed a growing interest in the study of modernizing reforms and economic, social, cultural, and political changes that arguably contributed to China's modernization in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. After scrutinizing Chinese scholars' conceptualization of “modernization” (its meanings, phases, and patterns) under the influence of Western modernization theories, this chapter explicates historians' deconstruction of the master narrative that had shaped revolutionary historiography and their new interpretations of a series of empirical issues that contributed to the formation of modernization historiography.

Keywords:   modernization historiography, modernizing reforms, modernization, Western modernication theories, master narrative, deconstruction, Chinese historiography

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