Untimely Reflections on Modernization in China

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)


Untimely reflections on modernization in China.

The emergency of modernization forced upon China means that the pride and sovereignty of China could only be maintained by becoming the Other in its „best“, that is, by adopting the criteria, norms and values of the developmentalism of the West that seemed to have made it so „successful“. However, it is exactly at a time when pride and sovereignty seem to be such a manifest reality for China that an „untimely“ rethinking of what most people regard as good and with reasons to be proud of is called for. The dangerous aspects of modernization in China today should be quite obvious to anyone willing to confront them. This paper aims to take some initial steps in dealing with the „main danger“ of the everyday life with a view to a form of activism not exhausted by the political binaries of oppositional politics. Part I of the paper examines how the media representations of the relations between modernization and rural poverty are framed by binary pairs, how the diminishing of the self legitimizes the violences of the modernization processes, and how modernization should be understood not merely as a domestic solution for domestic problems, but should be read together with the movements of colonization and globalization. Part II of the paper examines practices constituting a difference to the „dissemination“ and „over-determination“ effects of globalization on China’s trajectory of modernization. One case in point is the rural reconstruction movement carried out in a relatively self-conscious manner in resisting the colonizing effects of processes of globalization and countering the very logic of this development.
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)255 - 290
Number of pages36
JournalPeripherie: Zeitschrift für Politik und Ökonomie in der Dritten Weit (German)
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006

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