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« Another Taoist Easter | Main | Confucianism in Everyday Life »

April 09, 2007

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The article is not super informed about China, but it does call into question what views many popular blogs, like danwei, are expressing.

Aren't most of these "foreign blogs" about expressing a view about China from the eyes of Western peoples? Isn't there an assumed level of "ignorance" in that this blog is for people who don't read/write Chinese or engage that huge sphere of the Chinese world? Not ignorance in a bad way, but that's the perspective. Its too much to ask for a Western person to "delve" into China without having grown up here. Especially if you don't stay here half a lifetime. Its not an immigration friendly and "acculturating" country, like the US or Britain. China doesn't encourage people to move to China and become "Chinese." Thus, they naturally don't feel the need to explain themselves to foreigners living in China, versus Americans who love to talk about how people become Americans.

Having said all that, this is why Su Fei is going to run into troubles. She's a foreigner, a "cultural tourist," who is here taking in the scene. She has to be comfortable with that, much like The Useless Tree is. Then there's no contradiction, its implied ignorance.

Is she a cultural imperialist? In Said's interpretation, does she "invent" a "Chinese other" and then give them attributes and life, completely independent of their "real" being?

A little bit. Yeah, she doesn't capture the lives of Chinese the way that Chinese would, but its not innocuous and not important.

But why accuse her when there's Disney, Chinese History Books written by Western authors and the US State Department who all publish much more blatantly "cultural imperialist" stuff?? That's for another post.

The article is not super informed about China, but it does call into question what views many popular blogs, like danwei, are expressing.

Aren't most of these "foreign blogs" about expressing a view about China from the eyes of Western peoples? Isn't there an assumed level of "ignorance" in that this blog is for people who don't read/write Chinese or engage that huge sphere of the Chinese world? Not ignorance in a bad way, but that's the perspective. Its too much to ask for a Western person to "delve" into China without having grown up here. Especially if you don't stay here half a lifetime. Its not an immigration friendly and "acculturating" country, like the US or Britain. China doesn't encourage people to move to China and become "Chinese." Thus, they naturally don't feel the need to explain themselves to foreigners living in China, versus Americans who love to talk about how people become Americans.

Having said all that, this is why Su Fei is going to run into troubles. She's a foreigner, a "cultural tourist," who is here taking in the scene. She has to be comfortable with that, much like The Useless Tree is. Then there's no contradiction, its implied ignorance.

Is she a cultural imperialist? In Said's interpretation, does she "invent" a "Chinese other" and then give them attributes and life, completely independent of their "real" being?

A little bit. Yeah, she doesn't capture the lives of Chinese the way that Chinese would, but its innocuous and not important.

But why accuse her when there's Disney, Chinese History Books written by Western authors and the US State Department who all publish much more blatantly "cultural imperialist" stuff?? That's for another post.

Hi - new to the blog.

I love Sexy Beijing and I had never heard of people criticizing Su Fei as an "imperialist." What grounds could they possibly have? It's clearly a joke.

Some people seem to caught up in themselves to notice these things.

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