FOREIGN CULTURES 63

9.21.2005

(note: readings to complement the lectures; won’t be systematically mentioned in class) Theme: Video: three time periods (before 1st rev, between revs, after 2nd rev) to be studied shifts in social/cultural trends each time 1) traditional story – concubine of the Yang dynasty 2) modern revolutionary opera during the cultural revolution (Japanese occupation) 3) modern pop in China by Faye Wong (present day) question: Would taking American music from three different historical periods show the same amount of change? Whyte: recall that during the second period (between revolutions) the other genres were in accessible (i.e. traditional music was banned, pop was not allowed). Currently, the revolutionary operas have gone out of style. Background: Worlds largest population (1.3 billion) Chinese is the most spoken language in the world Much of the terrain is mountains and deserts – therefore most of the population is concentrated along the Eastern seaboard 25% of the world’s population, but only 7% of the world’s arable land 92% Han Chinese, 8% national minorities (which live in more-sparsely populated regions near the boarders) Many different dialects – mutually unintelligible (although characters are interchangeable) even within the dialects there are sub-dialects unique to local regions perennial problem with linguistic intercommunication – communists started a program of Mandarin education, but still problems rice and tea are the dominant crops in the south – wheat and millet are dominant in the north; thus, the diets are different depending on the region China is still a predominately rural country Mao tried to prevent cities from growing very fast (urban population suppressed) Recent dramatic city growth (35%-40% is now urban) and increased numbers of rural inhabitants are engaged in non-agricultural trades (factories, construction) Divided into 32 administrative provinces; 4 cities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongging) are treated as provinces Hong Kong and Macao are under “one country, two systems” Taiwan ruled previously by nationalists – now a democratic country essentially Political Order in Late Imperial China Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) – Manchu presence after an invasion focused on traditional Chinese institution

FOREIGN CULTURES 63

9.21.2005

continuity in political institutions and values for more than 2 millennia; led by orthodoxy (Confucianism), codified by Confucius (ca. 551-479 BC) Bureaucratic Empire Officials were periodically moved from place to place Bureaucrats were appointed after many years of classical training (very difficult classes, rigorous classes) – the point: meritocracy prevailed (no family ties/military emphasis) relatively small bureaucracy ruling a huge population, therefore the government had only modest aims government “floated across” the top of society; county magistrate was the lowest official paid by the government (1,500 total in China) How did the keep in control? Answer on Monday