Imperialism and Nationalism as the May Fourth Movement Discourses

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This article analyses those imperialist and national discourses that the Chinese and the British constructed particularly during the May Fourth Movement in 1910’s and 1920’s China. Moreover, the paper will analyse the form, content, and impact of the May Fourth rhetoric on national identity. The paper concentrates on analysing cultural, historical, and political dimensions of nationalism presented in China. It was clear that the May Fourth protestors, especially the urban and educated men, dominated public articulations of national identities. With their control of knowledge production and in some cases control of state bureaucracies, élite men were able to make demands for the nation, often combining their own group needs with particular definitions of the nation. British discourse that was constructed during the May Fourth Movement responded to a reality that was infinitely adaptable in its functions of preserving the basic structures of imperial power. For the British, May Fourth demonstrators represented a potential change in the existing intellectual, political, social, and economic stability which, for decades, had guaranteed a British privileged position in the country. As result, discussions on nationalism and imperialism became a crucial part of the Sino-British May Fourth Movement discourse.
TidskriftStudia Orientalia Electronica
VolymVol 2
Antal sidor15
StatusPublicerad - 2014
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 615 Historia och arkeologi

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