By Bob Hodge
An cutting edge textual content which adopts the instruments of cultural reports to supply a clean method of the learn of chinese, tradition and society. The booklet tackles parts corresponding to grammar, language, gender, pop culture, movie and the chinese language diaspora and employs the innovations of social semiotics to increase the guidelines of language and studying. masking more than a few cultural texts, it is going to support to collapse the bounds round the principles and identities of East and West and supply a extra appropriate research of the chinese language and China.
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Extra resources for The Politics of Chinese Language and Culture: The Art of Reading Dragons (Culture and Communication in Asia)
These are important parts of social judgements of ‘face’, important signifiers of the heterogeneity that lies only millimetres below the surface of Chinese social life. The Chinese language taught in language textbooks—the so-called ‘common is described like this in the Practical Chinese Reader: speech’— What we propose to teach in this textbook is what is known as ‘the common speech’, the kind of modern Chinese with ‘the Beijing speech sounds as the standard sounds, the Northern dialect as the basic dialect and modern classic works written in the vernacular as its grammatical models’.
But the crucial point is that in normal social interaction in China, rule-breaking is as unobtrusively continuous and systemic and functional as the rules themselves are needed to be known. The two together constitute the system that organises social interaction, a system which is a way to negotiate contradictions successfully (successfully for different persons and different purposes) and not exclusively a system for staying out of trouble at any cost. It is the second function that alone is provided for in all the textbooks, but it is itself a contradiction.
But more importantly, the idiots are signifiers of their own families, whose attitude to them is directly signalled by elements of their appearance. The narrator comes up with a fourfold classification system of idiots, in terms of their cleanliness and clothing. The four categories are both a parody and a repetition of classification systems in other areas of Chinese life, whose ubiquity we have already seen. Ah Cheng’s narrator makes strong claims for the traditional nature and function of his system, but in terms that indicate unmistakably a critique of some basic premises of that system.
The Politics of Chinese Language and Culture: The Art of Reading Dragons (Culture and Communication in Asia) by Bob Hodge